San Diego Child Custody Lawyer
Protecting Your Child's Best Interest
One of the most contested and sensitive issues in divorce cases we deal with is that of child custody. Dealing with divorce is difficult enough, but having to explain to your child that their living situation will be changed can be very hard on everyone involved.
It can be troubling for you, your spouse, and your children to have to adjust to these types of major changes. However, the first step is to decide who will have primary physical custody and who will be responsible for legal decisions.
Our experienced San Diego child custody attorney can provide you with the emotional support and representation you need on your side. At Gordon D. Cruse, APLC, we understand all of the various factors which can affect child custody and child support decisions.
What Are the Types of Child Custody in California?
- Sole legal custody: When one parent has the right to make all major decisions regarding a child's health, education, and lifestyle issues.
- Joint legal custody: When both parents must make decisions together on the child's upbringing
- Sole physical custody: The child lives with one parent while the other parent will usually have visitation time
- Joint physical custody: The child divides time living with both parents throughout the year.
How Is Child Custody Determined in San Diego?
California courts decide child custody arrangements based on a variety of factors, such as:
- The age of the children
- The preference of the children
- Each parent's relationship with the children
- The parents' financial situations
- The parenting abilities of each party
- Willingness of each parent to cooperate
Judges prefer arrangements that can provide a stable and healthy environment for the child. If you are constantly moving or have not established a strong bond with your child, show that you are actively participating in your child's life and are interested in developing a strong relationship with them.
What Is the “Best Interest" of a Child?
The court makes decisions based on the child's best interest, but what does that really mean? Below are some factors the judge will consider when determining child custody.
The best interest of a child is based on some of the following:
If the parent will maintain the health and safety of the child
If there is a history of abuse between either parent and the child
The parent’s mental health or psychological health
How often the child will have contact with both parents
How a parent uses alcohol, prescription drugs, or controlled substances
Do You Have to Go to Court for Child Custody?
No, you are not legally required to go to court for child custody. It is, however, very common for divorcing parents to find themselves there because they cannot agree on the terms of the arrangement.
While it is always better to make decisions between you and your spouse outside of court to avoid putting the choice in the judge's hands, this is not always possible. If you and your spouse cannot make a decision, you will need a child custody attorney in San Diego that has experience handling contested child custody cases to represent you in court. This is often the best way to ensure your child's best interest is protected, as well as your parental rights.
Fighting for Your Child Custody Rights in San Diego
Our San Diego child custody attorney understands how much is at stake. We are here to fight for your right to have custody over your children and to help determine fathers' rights.
If you are planning on moving after divorce—such as out of state—an attorney is all the more important. We will help you navigate child custody and relocation.
No matter how complex your case is, we want to help!
Call our child custody lawyer in San Diego now at (619) 431-4523 to learn how we can help and to make an appointment for a consultation.
Our Lawyer Will Personally Handle Your Case
Backed By 35+ Years Of Experience
We Have Extensive Trial Experience
Certified California State Bar Specialist