Roseville Child Custody Lawyer

Focusing on the Child's Best Interest

Your relationship with your child is the most important of all issues that can arise within a family court. As a parent, you are likely aware of the importance of having your parental rights protected for both you and your child's benefit. If you are struggling with a child custody issue, speak with my firm's Roseville divorce attorney at your earliest convenience. Contrary to what many believe, mothers and fathers are equal in the eyes of the family court when the judge determines child custody. Your child's best interest is the primary concern of the court when determining a child custody order and while fashioning a parenting schedule.

Child Custody Statistics

According to statistics released in 2007 by the U.S. Census:

  • An estimated 13.7 million parents had custody of 21.8 million children under 21 years of age while the other parent lived somewhere else
  • More than one quarter (26.3%) of all children under 21 years of age lived with one of their parents, while the other parent lived outside the household

When you are dealing with an issue as important as the welfare of your children and the future of your family, it is imperative you work with an understanding and knowledgeable family lawyer.

Let a Roseville Family Law Attorney Defend Your Rights as a Parent

Continuous and frequent contact with both parents is typically in the child's best interest. In this ideal situation, both parents will share in the decision making process regarding the child. The manner in which this is accomplished will vary from case to case, which is why every family will need their own parenting plan. A schedule that works in one family's case may not work in another. For some families, the child's best interest is to live primarily with his or her mother, and for others, the father. If a 50 / 50 split parenting schedule will not work, the court can decide on another plan.

In addition to having continuous and frequent contact with both parents, there are many other factors the court considers when determining child custody. Other factors the court may consider include: which parent offers the child greater stability, the bond the child has with both parents, the preference of the child, the child's current school and doctor, and any history of child or spousal abuse. There are no pre-set answers that can be applied to all families child custody situation. I can also discuss the following legal topics with you as they are related to child custody:

What the Court Looks At When Awarding Custody

When child custody is being determined, a parent frequently has to meet with a court evaluator or psychologist, once alone and once with his/her children present. Questions you will be asked include:

  • Do you leave work to pick up your child when he/she is sick?
  • When your child is sick, who does he/she turn to as a caregiver?
  • Do you think your spouse is good parent?
  • Will you put your children's needs before your own?

Other factors that are considered include: which parent will more frequently encourage visits with the other, if a parent has a history of domestic violence or drug use, the parent-child relationship, lifestyle of the parent, the parent's mental and physical health, the parent's ability to provide for the child, continuity with the primary caregiver, the child's routine, the child's age, gender and mental and physical health. If the court determines that the child is in danger from his/her parents or that granting custody to a third-party custodian would be in the best interests of the child, custody is not always awarded to the parents.

Different Types of Child Custody

Understanding the many complicating facets of a divorce, I am prepared to guide you through the often emotional process of negotiating a suitable child custody agreement that can take your children's best interests into full account. Dealing with matters of child custody can be tricky due to the varying options that are available to the parents to choose from. It is important to remember that if it is at all possible, the best interests of the children are crucial for their wellbeing and happiness in life. There are certain situations which will prevent families from being equally involved in the lives of the kids, though when possible parents are encouraged to seek that end. Depending on your unique situation, there are a few different types of child custody options that either you or your spouse will agree on together, through mediation, for example, or you will allow the judge to decide in through litigation. The different possible options of custody may include:

  • Physical custody
  • Legal custody
  • Sole custody
  • Joint custody

Physical custody is the most commonly used form of agreements between parents as it simply means that you or the court agreed that the child can physically live with one or both of the parents. This has nothing to do with the legal matters of the child's life, but rather addresses where they are located on a regular basis usually using a parenting agreement if it involves both parents who live close to one another. Legal custody has nothing to do with the physical location of the child but rather the parent's ability to make legal decision in the life. Depending on the family this may mean the ability to choose the child's religion, education, medical care, etc. It is very common that parents will not only share physical custody, but also joint legal custody as well.

It is in unique circumstances in which the court will award it to only one parent. Sole custody means that a child will have either the physical or legal custody of just one parent for varying reasons. Generally this will be in the event a parent moves far away, is deemed unfit to raise a child, has a new partner that is questionable, among others, then the court may designate sole custody to one parent. One factor that is important to keep in mind when dealing with the custody of your child is that this is not the way to hurt your ex during the divorce. Children are experiencing a lot of pain during this season, and it is the parent's responsibility to keep their best interest in mind at all times, even if that means sharing custody with your ex for the sake of your kid.

Dedicated Representation from a Roseville Divorce Lawyer

As your Roseville divorce attorney, I welcome your inquiry regarding child custody or any family law concern such as divorce or domestic violence. I invite you to contact me by phone or e-mail and you can expect a thoughtful, prompt response. Learn more about what the law has to say and what family law judges may determine in your family's unique situation. As you approach divorce or need to settle child custody after an out-of-wedlock birth, my firm can be your legal guide.

Contact the Law Offices of Evan Samuelson to schedule a consultation today!

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