Rancho Cucamonga Child Custody Attorney
Protecting Your Parental Rights & Securing Fair Custody
When parents go through a divorce or separation, they must often deal with the complications of child custody for minor children. It can be very challenging to resolve child custody matters, especially without proper legal counsel throughout the process. That is why Chung & Ignacio, LLP offers representation from our skilled child custody lawyers in Rancho Cucamonga. We can help you establish a custody agreement or fight for a modification.
At Chung & Ignacio, LLP, we have an in-depth understanding of the laws and various matters concerning child custody rulings. When you come to us, we can assess your situation and helping you set realistic goals. From there, we can begin working on a viable custody solution. We take every aspect of your situation into consideration, including child support and spousal support matters.
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- The court can award the following types of custody:
- Physical custody: This refers to where a child will live and with whom they will spend a majority of their time.
- Legal custody: This refers to who will maintain the legal right to make decisions regarding the child’s education, well-being, and health.
In California, if one parent is given sole custody, another must be given visitation rights. This will be set out in a visitation plan that outlines the days, the amount of time, any limitations, and other specifics of the visits. In some cases, holidays may be split between parents to ensure the child has enough time with both parents.
Q:What is the difference between physical custody and legal custody?
A:There is more than one type of custody and different custody options available, so it is important to understand what it all means. Legal custody refers to a parent’s ability make certain decisions on a child’s behalf, whereas physical custody simply refers to where a child will live. You do not need to have physical custody to have legal custody of a child.
Q:How is child custody determined by the courts?
A:A vast amount of elements factor into how child custody is determined, though this decision is ultimately based on what will best serve the well-being of the child. The wishes and ability of each parent to provide for the child as well as the current child custody arrangement are also considered. Although a child’s preference is not a paramount factor in how custody is awarded, the courts will consider his or her relationship with each parent.
Q:What are the “best interests of the child?”
A:The courts want to ensure that the best interests of the child are served, but what exactly does that mean? Each state has its own standards for what an ideal situation should look like, but it is usually presumed that the involvement of both parents is best, especially in cases where a child is close with both parents.
Q:Will I need a child custody lawyer?
A:A lot is at stake in a child custody case, so it is usually advisable for individuals to hire a child custody attorney or, at least seek a free consultation before deciding against it. For those worried about costs, you can consider Legal Aid or participate in a free legal clinic offered by a local law school.
Q:Is it a good idea to seek a temporary child custody order?
A:In many states, temporary child custody orders are required during the interim between a couple’s separation and divorce. Even if your state does not require one, however, it is advisable that you seek one anyway, especially if one parent is serving in the military, suffering from illness, or is being hospitalized.
Q:What happens if I am able to reach a private child custody agreement with my ex?
A:In some cases, parents are able to work out a mutually agreeable child custody agreement without the involvement of the courts. This saves a lot of time and heartache, but you should still work with an attorney to have the paperwork drawn up, signed, and filed properly with the courts.
Q:Will the courts modify a child custody order?
A:Depending on the state, there may be a certain set circumstances under which one can seek child custody modifications. Generally, the courts will consider relocation, safety, the death of a parent, and other likewise legitimate causes for modifying a child custody order.
Q:How should I prepare for a child custody hearing?
A:Work with your child custody attorney to devise a suitable plan for every court appearance. The better prepared you are, the more confident you will feel and appear in court. It is also important to remember the little things, including how you choose to dress for court and your observation of courtroom etiquette.
Q:Are a child’s special needs considered?
A:If your child has special needs, rest assured that the court will take these into account, especially if where the child resides will impact his or her medical or developmental issues. Nevertheless, the courts still want to see that both parents are willing to cooperate and facilitate a child’s ongoing relationship with both parents.
Q:Are judges biased against fathers?
A:In the past, there might have been a bit of bias against fathers in court, but nowadays it is generally considered best for a child to have a continued relationship with both parents. If you want primary custody, the best way to go about this is not by bashing the other parent or limiting a child’s time with him or her, but by being cooperative.
Every child and family is different, which means the court may look at a wide range of factors when trying to determine the best possible custody situation for the child. At the end of the day, the judge will go off what they believe to be the child’s best interests. This is why it is important you have counsel on your side at this time.
Some of the main factors that will be reviewed include:
- The age and sex of the child
- Who is seen as the “primary parent”
- The overall health needs of the child
- The free time and occupation of each parent
- The past record of each parent
- Educational and special needs of the child
- Living situation of each parent
Need counsel? Turn to Chung & Ignacio, LLP. We have years of collective experience and know what to expect in and out of the courtroom. Whether you and the other parent are able to come to an agreement or we need to present your case in front of a judge, our Rancho Cucamonga child custody lawyers are ready to help.