Custody and Visitation
We will fight to protect your parental rights.
Married parents are automatically assumed to share custody of their children. However, if you and your child’s other parent have never been married, or if you are getting a divorce or legal separation, you will need a court-approved agreement governing custody and visitation. This agreement will spell out where the child will live (physical custody) as well as who has the right to make important decisions for the child (legal custody).
Factors Affecting Child Custody and Visitation
When assigning physical and legal custody as well as visitation rights, the goal is always to arrive at an arrangement that serves the best interests of the child in question. As part of this effort, the court will consider the following factors:
- Mental and physical health of the parents, as well as their moral fitness
- How long the child has lived in an environment that is stable and whether that environment can be continued
- The ability of each of the parents to provide a routine of stability for the child
- Child’s preferences, if the court determines that the child is able to make the decision
- The ability of each of the parents to meet the needs of the child development
- Prior situations or convictions related to domestic violence involving one or both parents
As your child custody attorney, Alejo Lugo can help you understand your rights and the rights of your child’s other parent. This will ensure that any custody and visitation agreements you may wish to draft with your co-parent are fair and appropriate. If you are in the midst of a custody battle, Attorney Lugo will work hard to ensure the judge has all the pertinent information that will help guide him or her to a fair decision.
Find the Visitation Agreement that Works for Your Family
California courts generally assume that contact with both parents is in a child’s best interests. If both parents are able to provide a safe and stable home, shared physical custody is usually best. If this is not possible due to travel or work responsibilities of one parent, then custody will be given to the other parent with ample visitation for the first parent. Visitation can be arranged on a schedule that works for your unique family.
Even if one parent has a problem like drug use or mental illness that prevents the child from living with them, the child still deserves the opportunity to have a relationship with that parent. This can be provided through supervised visitation.
Sometimes, parents’ circumstances change so that a parent who was once able to have unsupervised visitation is no longer trustworthy, or a parent who was formerly unfit now has their life back on track and deserves more contact with their children. As your custody and visitation attorney, we can petition for the necessary modifications to the visitation agreement to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of your child and your family.
We Help Keep Your Children’s Interests the Priority
Child custody battles can become very heated. Parents may argue bitterly about who the child will live with, where they will spend holidays, and who will get to make decisions about school, medical care, etc. It’s not uncommon for parents to accuse one another of all kinds of misbehavior as part of an effort to unfairly deny access to their children.
If you are embroiled in a custody dispute, bringing in an experienced family law attorney like Alejo Lugo can help give you some perspective on the issues. We can help keep the focus on your children’s best interests, rather than on disagreements between you and your children’s other parent.
The Law Doesn’t Discriminate and Neither Do We
The days when courts would give preference to mothers over fathers in custody disputes are over. California law now generally holds that anyone with a strong emotional bond to a child can seek visitation rights. We will fight equally passionately for you whether you are a mother, a father, a family member, or any other individual needing assistance protecting their right to a relationship with a child.
Call Now for a Consultation
If you have questions about a child custody or visitation issue, call us at (800) 497-0018 now. We’ll be happy to describe how our firm can help.