Seal Beach Child Custody Attorney
Receive Help With Your Orange County Child Custody Case
Divorce brings many new challenges to family life, and your top priority as a parent is ensuring that your children get everything they need for their physical and emotional well-being. The California Family Code says that the first concern of the court is to make sure the children are healthy and safe. This code encourages both parents to see their children on a regular basis and to be involved in the child-rearing process.
At the Law Office of Stacy L. Campuzano, we know that many people in Southern California worry about their parental rights during a divorce. Our expert legal counsel can help ensure that you retain access to your children and that your children receive the stable environment they need. Whether you and your spouse are ending your marriage on amicable terms or contentious ones, we can help you negotiate the situation. Our attorneys are equipped to help you and your ex-spouse find a custody arrangement outside of court. We are also prepared to go to court to help you secure your parental rights.
We have almost two decades of experience in Orange County and Los Angeles County family law, and we know that the ideal custody arrangement looks different for each family. Because of this, we are committed to educating you about your rights and helping your family find an arrangement tailored to your unique situation.
Types of Custody
A child custody lawyer can help you and your ex-spouse identify an ideal custody solution. A court may award two different types of custody:
- Physical custody. This type of custody determines where your children will live and which parent will serve as the primary caregiver.
- Legal custody. This refers to which parent will be able to make decisions for the children. These decisions include where the children will go to school, what kind of medical care they will receive and in which religion they will be raised.
Because the California Family Code emphasizes the involvement of both parents, many courts may award joint legal custody or joint physical custody. However, you may receive sole physical custody if a court thinks that living in one residence will provide more stability for the children. You may also receive sole legal custody if your ex-spouse is an unfit or absent parent. If a court awards sole physical custody to your ex-spouse, your attorney can help make sure you receive visitation rights so that you can play an active role in your children’s lives.
How Does the Court Make Custody Decisions?
Before a court awards custody, the judge considers the best interests of the children. These include factors such as the following:
- The age of the children.
- The relationship the children have with each parent.
- The kind of care each child needs.
- The ability of each parent to provide a stable home environment.
- The physical and mental health of each parent.
- A child’s ability to adjust to a new environment.
A judge uses all of these factors to determine what kind of custody arrangement will help your children thrive. Your attorney can help you understand each of these factors in your case.
If you and your ex-spouse are locked in a custody battle, you may need to demonstrate to the court that you have your children’s best interests at heart. A skilled child custody lawyer can advise you on the evidence you will need to present.
Do Children Get a Say in Custody Arrangements?
In California, children can express a preference in custody cases. Children over the age of 14 can give their opinion on the custody and visitation arrangements. If a child is younger than 14, a judge may speak to him or her if this testimony will help clarify what is in the child’s best interests.
Prepare a Parenting Plan
In order for your Orange County or Los Angeles County family law case to be complete, you and your ex-spouse have to create a parenting plan. Our attorneys can help you draft this plan and ensure you include all of the relevant information, such as the following:
- Your ideas about the custody arrangement.
- Your proposed visitation schedule.
- Your ideas about child support.
- Methods for resolving disputes between you and your ex-spouse.
- Information about health care and education for each child.
- The financial responsibilities for you and your ex-spouse.
This document is necessary because it shows the court that you are already thinking about the well-being of your children. We know that sometimes it may be difficult for parents to collaborate on this parenting plan. We are prepared to help you and your ex-spouse create a plan before you go to court so the divorce proceedings can go smoothly for your family.
Navigate Visitation Disputes
Parents have the right to see their children, whether they are the primary caregiver or have visitation rights. Our Orange County and Los Angeles County family law practice specializes in visitation disputes. We are ready to help you if your ex-spouse refuses to let you see your children during your scheduled visitation times. We can also help if you are the primary caregiver and your ex-spouse consistently misses visitation. A child custody lawyer can make sure both you and your ex-spouse follow the court-ordered visitation schedule.
Handle Custody Modifications
Your family’s situation may change over time, and your original custody order may not be sufficient as the children get older. An attorney can help you get a new custody order if your family encounters one of the following situations:
- Either you or your ex-spouse need to relocate.
- One parent becomes unable to care for the children.
- One parent demonstrates the ability to be a responsible caregiver.
- The children want to spend more time with both parents.
You cannot modify your child custody order without a court’s approval, and a child custody lawyer can help you find a new arrangement that works for your family.
Contact a Child Custody Lawyer
If you need guidance in your Orange County or Los Angeles County family law case, contact the experts at the Law Office of Stacy L. Campuzano. We are ready to help you find the custody arrangement that is best for your family. Please contact us at 562-799-5503 to schedule your consultation with Ms. Campuzano.