If you’re facing a separation or divorce, you are likely navigating unfamiliar territory. Not only are you managing the emotional impacts of your situation, but you must now confront multiple legal concerns. Divorce, like other significant life changes, may bring up feelings of loss, stress, and uncertainty. There are also many financial, legal, and logistical decisions to be made. As a result, this process can quickly begin to feel overwhelming, and you may have concerns and questions or feel unsure where to begin.
If you have children, divorce or separation may also trigger a legal pursuit of child custody. Our Placer County child custody attorneys can answer all the pertinent questions you may have about how to ensure your child’s safety and wellbeing, including who should obtain custody? Should you seek sole or joint custody? Are both parents capable of caring for the child? Who will best represent your case and advocate for you and your child’s needs? Do you need an attorney, or can you represent yourself?
It is important to have trustworthy and expert support as you navigate these unfamiliar circumstances. The Sacramento family law attorneys at Ewing Law Group have built over 20 years of experience in this practice area allowing us to serve thousands of clients in California. With years of experience practicing excellent family law and demonstrating commitment to our clients, we can guide you towards the legal outcome you seek. Family law includes, but is not limited to, matters of divorce, restraining orders, spousal support, child support, and domestic violence. Our attorneys are well prepared to navigate the complexities and needs of your child custody case.
In the case of separation between two unmarried parents, by California law, the mother assumes full custody and does not need to take legal action.
However, the state of California does not favor one parent over the other when determining child custody. Child custody is by law based on the child’s best interests. Often, both married and unmarried California fathers will present a convincing case that maintaining custody is in the better interests of their children.
When determining the factors to assess the child’s best interest for attaining custody of a child, the Judicial Council of California will consider:
According to California law, physical disability, religious differences, sexual orientation, and lifestyle cannot be used as grounds by the court to grant or deny a parent custody of a child.
Determining who will care for your child is an impactful and important decision because the outcome can be life-changing for both parents and child. The task of determining how the responsibilities of parenting will be shared should focus on ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the child. As a result, there may be additional complexities to consider, including
Legal custody involves determining who is responsible for making decisions about your child’s education, health, and welfare. You can seek joint legal custody or sole legal custody. Sole legal custody means you can make decisions regarding your child’s education, health, and welfare without your spouse’s consent. However, many Placer County parents choose joint legal custody regardless of the child’s living situation.
Joint legal custody means you and your spouse will share the responsibility and legal right to make such decisions for your child. It also means you will be required to discuss and reach an agreement for decisions regarding your child’s health, such as which doctor they see, dental care, and other treatments they may need or receive. You will also be required to discuss and reach an agreement for decisions regarding their welfare and education, including school of attendance, extracurricular activities, and even whether the children should receive therapy.
A Placer County child custody lawyer at Ewing Law Group can help you determine whether it is best to proceed with sole or joint legal custody.
Physical Custody determines how much time the children spend with each parent. As with legal custody, you can file for either joint physical custody or sole physical custody. Joint physical custody means both parents will share time with their children, and the children will be physically present with each parent according to a custody agreement. Joint physical custody can mean dividing time 50/50 between the parents, though this arrangement may be impractical for some families. Regardless of the precise division of time, joint physical custody aims to distribute parenting duties to both parents and allow the children to spend a substantial amount of time in the homes of both parents.
Sole physical custody means only one parent will assume physical custody of the child or children. This may also be referred to as the child’s primary residence or primary physical custody. The non-custodial parent may retain visitation rights on a regular basis or may have the child in their home on holidays, school breaks, or at other times. Still, the primary physical residence of the child is relegated to one parent’s home. Determining how much time the child spends with each parent is a crucial decision, and a Placer County child custody attorney can help you negotiate the right arrangement for your family.
The cost of an attorney is a common concern. Perhaps you’re faced with financial challenges from divorce or doing your best to navigate the unknown. New considerations such as child support, the cost of childcare, and even a change in your living arrangements can create a sense of uncertainty regarding your finances.
The overall cost of a child custody attorney is dependent on several factors, including:
In a contested child custody case, the parents have not agreed upon decisions regarding physical time share, child support, or any other issue. In the event of a contested child custody case, attorneys may charge up front as well as an hourly rate. Contested child custody cases require longer bouts in court, mediation, and added depositions. However, in an uncontested case, the two parents have already come to a mutual agreement about child custody related issues. In these cases, an attorney may charge a flat rate.
Though there are multiple factors that determine the final cost, the average child custody attorney $300-$500 per hour and/or flat rates anywhere between $3,000-$20,000. It is not recommended to pursue a child custody case without legal representation. Pursuing a case without legal counsel may leave you without the results you desire—and without the contact you deserve from your children. In most cases, securing the services of a Placer County child custody attorney is well worth the expense.
A Placer County child custody attorney can navigate the complexities of your individual circumstances as well as the California family court. After listening to your needs and considering the child’s best interests, an attorney can help build your custody case, answer your questions, address any concerns, and help you reach your desired outcome. Unfortunately, those results will be difficult to achieve on your own.
Often, when a child custody case is complex, one parent may be concerned with the other parent’s ability to care for the child. In this case, it is essential to hire an attorney with access to expert witnesses, legal precedents, and other resources that may help you develop a compelling argument in court. An attorney will help you demonstrate why your concerns are founded and build a case accordingly.
In addition, many parents experience disputes and disagreements during child custody discussions. Having a child custody attorney on your side can help mitigate future arguments by laying the groundwork for a solid, enforceable custody order. When clear agreements are reached during alternative dispute resolution or negotiation and the court makes a final custody order, both parents can experience relief from ongoing stress. Greater clarity for both parents and children as you adjust to your new circumstances can provide security, leave less room for misunderstandings, and protect the rights of all involved.
Whether you’re facing a complex child custody case or working with your former partner towards the outcome that best serves your child’s wellbeing, your first step should be to consult with a Placer County child custody lawyer. The right family law attorneys can offer you representation with experience and help you navigate this legal process. Ewing Law Group has been helping Placer County residents achieve successful child custody decisions for over 20 years combined. We strive to communicate with our clients frequently to assess their needs and will work diligently toward your desired outcome.
If you’re looking for a child custody attorney in Placer County, California, please contact Ewing Law Firm today to schedule your consultation with an attorney. We look forward to working with you.