Santa Clarita Valley Child Custody Lawyer
Helping Seek Custody for Your Child(ren) in SCV
When determining a child custody agreement, the court will look at several different factors, but the utmost importance will be what is known as the "best interest of the child." In all things relating to the divorce, you can trust that the court will make decisions that they view will help the child in their life and result in the least amount of stress for the child. For example, the court may award custody to the parent who is able to offer a "wholesome and stable environment." The court will also look for someone who is considered to be more adequate to provide the more proper care for the child.
California will award custody in two different ways - joint and solo. When joint custody is awarded, the parents will be expected to share the responsibility of the rearing the child. Solo, on the other hand, allows for one parent to make all of the decisions on their own. This can then be awarded in two different types - physical and legal. Physical custody is exactly what it sounds like, the determination of where a child will live. Legal, on the other hand, refers to all of the major decision making that will be done about the child's upbringing. This will deal with issues such as religion, schooling and even medical treatment.
How is child custody determined in Santa Clarita?
California laws are explicitly clear on how child custody is determined in any given family law case; namely, the courts will make decisions based on what they determine supports the "best interest of the child." This term, however, is vague at best – and there are many who don't understand exactly what that entails. Put simply, the best interests of the child will take into account various factors, such as: the age and health of the child; the emotional ties between the child and each parent; the ability for each parent to take care and rear the child; any reported substance abuse or family violence; and the child's ties to the local community.
When determining custody, courts look for ways to create plans where the child will be given equal access to both parents. This is because numerous studies have come to light which show the benefits of a child having a constant, stable relationship with both parents. Contrary to popular belief and old customs, custody is not automatically given to the mother; in fact, mothers are not even given preference over the father.
According to The Judicial Branch of California:
Courts do not automatically give custody to the mother or the father, no matter what the age or sex of your children. Courts cannot deny your right to custody or visitation just because you were never married to the other parent, or because you or the other parent has a physical disability or a different lifestyle, religious belief, or sexual orientation.
In some cases, a custody agreement can be made between both parents without needing to get the court involved. This, however, is only an agreement which is taken on faith. If at some point, one of the parties does not follow the terms of the agreement, there is no way for it to be legally enforceable unless it is an official court order. For this reason, it is so important to work with a Santa Clarita family lawyer from our firm so that we can help ensure a proper court agreement is drafted. If you don't, you leave you and your children vulnerable to the whims of the other spouse without having a legally enforcement court agreement.
How SCV Custody Attorneys, Cutter & Lax Can Help
Are you looking to fight for custody? No matter whether you are fighting for physical or legal custody, you can trust in the legal experience of our firm. To learn more about how a Santa Clarita Valley family law attorney from our firm can help you with the establishment of these agreements, we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible. We know what you're facing & are dedicated to helping in these tough times.