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Encino Child Custody Attorney

Child Custody & Divorce Matters in San Fernando Valley

California child custody law can be highly complex and confusing. An attorney may play an important role in helping a parent understand his or her custody rights in regards to a divorce or legal separation. At Cutter & Lax we understand that child custody is one of the most important points of any divorce or separation agreement. You want what's best for your child, but your spouse may be unwilling to cooperate, may be unfit to be involved in raising your child or children, or may have different views on how to resolve your custody dispute. It is important that you have a lawyer on your side to fight for your rights and represent your interests.

Types of Child Custody

In California's family court, parents who are going through a divorce or legal separation must decide on child custody. Child custody often refers to the rights and responsibilities of a child's parents, but also refers to who will take care of the child. There are two types of child custody, including legal and physical custody.

  1. Legal Custody – Decides who makes important decisions on behalf of your child(ren).
  2. Physical Custody – Decides who the children will live with.

California law dictates that either parent can have custody of the children, or the parents can have shared custody. Ultimately, a judge will decide the specifics of custody and visitation rights according to the best interests of the child. In order for this order to go into effect, both parents must agree. Most child custody cases are not cut and dry, however, and emotions, money, affairs, or other ulterior motives could hinder the best possible outcome for you or your child.

Having a qualified Encino divorce attorney by your side can help make sure your best interests are maintained in the oftentimes brutal court system. If you are looking for compassionate but efficient and practical legal counsel concerning your divorce or family law needs, Cutter & Lax works to ensure your family is taken care of. Attorney Cutter has over 30 years of legal experience, and his experience as a high school teacher gives him compassionate insight into child custody cases that tend to be emotionally charged and delicate. Together, the attorneys at Cutter & Lax wish to work on your behalf to obtain the most favorable results possible.

Child Custody & How it is Determined

Child custody refers to both legal and physical custody. Legal custody involves making decisions for your children, including those about healthcare, education and more. Physical custody determines where your children will live. In making decisions about child custody, the court will look to do what is in the best interests of the child. As such, custody may be awarded to both parents jointly, or if one parent is deemed unfit in some way only one parent will be awarded custody. The court may look to such factors as:

  • In some cases, the child's preference
  • The physical and mental health of each parent
  • The income of each parent
  • Each parent's ability to provide for the child's needs
  • Each parent's ability to provide a safe and nurturing environment

Determining Child Custody in California Divorces

If you are working to reach an agreement regarding child custody out of court, you may be able to create a flexible, creative solution to custody and visitation that works with you, your spouse's and your children's unique needs. This can be more difficult in court proceedings involving custody, but the right lawyer can positively affect your case in either event. This is why you need an attorney for your child custody case in Encino.

When the court takes over a divorce and child custody dispute, the judge will make a ruling on what is in the best interests of the child. This ruling will be based upon each parent's ability to care for the child both emotionally and financially, the mental and physical health of each parent, the needs of the child, the preference of the child in some cases and the type of home environment each parent can provide for the child. If you have questions regarding your legal situation, contact our firm to schedule a free case evaluation.

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