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Los Gatos child custody attorneyWhen married parents get divorced, or when unmarried parents are separated, they will need to settle a variety of legal issues related to their children. Disputes over child custody can often become heated and contentious, and parents may disagree about how they will make decisions about raising their children, where children will live, and a variety of other matters. When addressing these matters in family court, the decisions made will be based on what is in the children’s best interests. Multiple factors may be considered by the court, including the preferences of the children.

When Can Children’s Opinions Be Considered in a Child Custody Case?

There are two types of custody that will need to be addressed by divorcing or separated parents. Legal custody involves the right and responsibility to make decisions about children’s health, welfare, and education, while physical custody addresses where children will live and the time they will spend in each parent’s care. 

In most cases, California’s family courts usually prefer to have parents share legal custody, although one parent may be granted sole legal custody in some cases. Physical custody may also be shared, or one parent may be granted sole or primary custody, with the other parent being granted visitation time.

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Santa Clara County divorce and child custody attorneyIn the state of California, thousands of couples get divorced every year. While a divorce can be emotionally challenging for spouses, the divorce process can be especially traumatizing for their children. Recognizing this, courts in California make decisions on child custody based on what is in the child’s best interests. According to state law, child custody is broken into two different types of custody: legal and physical custody. If you are awarded legal custody of your child, you will have the legal right to make critical life decisions for them. If you are awarded physical custody, you will be granted time during which the child will stay with you. To achieve success in your child custody case, you will want to focus on the following: 

  • Your Goals: The way you approach a child custody case will depend on what you want to achieve during the divorce process. If you are seeking sole legal custody or primary physical custody, it is likely that you will need to resolve these aspects of your divorce in court and demonstrate why you should be the sole or primary caretaker of your child. If you believe that you and your spouse are both capable parents, you will likely be able to develop a parenting plan and joint custody agreement outside of court through negotiation or mediation

  • Cooperating With Your Spouse: While you and your spouse may be ending your marriage, you are still both parents of your child. By working together with your spouse to resolve disputes throughout the divorce process, you can develop the foundation of a new co-parenting relationship that will allow you to cooperate as you parent your children. The overwhelming majority of studies show that children benefit greatly from a continued relationship with both parents, post-divorce. 

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Los Gatos, CA divorce attorney child custody

When parents choose to get divorced, or when unmarried couples do not live together, disputes over the custody of children can become highly contentious. During these types of cases, parents will want to understand how they can address their children’s needs and avoid acting in a way that will cause their children to experience emotional harm. They will also want to be sure to understand the best steps to take to resolve child custody issues in a way that protects their parental rights while providing for their children’s best interests. During these types of cases, you will want to be sure to avoid the following mistakes:

  1. Acting in a Hostile Manner: The strong emotions involved in child custody cases can lead parents to behave in a way that could negatively impact their case. Be sure to refrain from speaking negatively about the other parent in front of your children, on social media platforms, or in court. It is best to remain as calm as possible and try to avoid arguments with the other parent whenever possible. Instead, conduct negotiations through your attorney or during mediation, limiting the possibility of angry outbursts or heated discussions. 
  2. Violating the Court’s Orders: During the divorce process or while a child custody case is pending, the court may issue temporary orders regarding matters such as visitation schedules or child support. Failure to follow these orders could result in the court deciding against you in your case. During this time, be sure to pick up and drop off your children on time, and do not attempt to take the children when it is not your time to have them. It is also important to make child support payments on time and in the full amount according to the order. 
  3. Not Focusing on Your Children: Even though you will likely be putting a great deal of time and energy toward legal matters, it is important to be sure you are taking time for your children as well. When making decisions about child custody, the court may evaluate your parenting skills, and you will want to demonstrate that you are closely involved in your children’s lives. Be sure to have a firm understanding of your child’s academic performance and extracurricular interests, and make sure you can provide your child with a safe, stable, and comfortable home life. If the court feels that you are not fully engaged as a parent, or if you are unable to provide your child with a safe home, this could have a negative effect on decisions about child custody. 

Contact a Los Gatos, CA Child Custody Lawyer

With years of experience helping clients throughout the entirety of the divorce process, Attorney Benita Ventresca will do everything in her power to help you reach a positive outcome to your child custody case. To schedule a complimentary consultation with an experienced Los Gatos, CA family law attorney, call us today at 408-395-8822. We serve clients in the Los Gatos, Sunnyvale, Saratoga, Cupertino, and San Jose areas.

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Los Gatos, CA divorce attorney child custody

The divorce process can be incredibly stressful for the whole family, including both parents and children. Children often need time to adjust to the fact that their parents will no longer be married or living together, and parents will need to manage the legal and personal issues involved in their divorce while ensuring that their children’s best interests are protected. If you are looking to maintain a meaningful relationship with your children after your divorce, it is critically important for you to understand California’s child custody laws. To ensure that your parental rights are protected in these cases, you will want to work with a skilled family law attorney. 

Physical and Legal Custody

In the state of California, there are two forms of child custody: legal custody and physical custody. Physical custody addresses who children will live with, while legal custody addresses the right to make decisions about how children will be raised, including ensuring that they receive the proper healthcare and education. 

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Los Gatos, CA child custody violation lawyerFollowing the finalization of a divorce, both parties will likely feel some level of relief, since they will be able to move on and begin the next phase of their lives. However, there are some cases in which conflicts can continue even after the divorce process has ended. Divorced parents are required to follow the child custody orders established by the court, and if one parent does not meet their requirements, the other parent may need to take legal action. If your spouse has violated your child custody order, you should speak with an experienced family law attorney to determine your legal options.

Examples of Custody Violations 

Custody order violations may pertain to both physical and legal custody. The most common violations involve a parent failing to abide by the terms of physical custody. For example, a parent may be consistently late picking up or dropping off children at the beginning and end of their visitation time, or one parent may refuse to allow the other parent to spend time with children as ordered by the court. Violations regarding legal custody may involve a parent making decisions about children’s education or healthcare without consulting with the other parent, or one parent may refuse to share information such as children’s school or medical records with the other party.

Steps You Can Take 

In the state of California, custody order violations are taken seriously, and they can result in significant legal consequences. If your ex-spouse has committed this type of violation, you will want to document the specific details of how they have violated the court’s orders. This may include noting the dates and times when they did not follow the visitation schedule or gathering other forms of evidence showing that they did not meet their court-ordered requirements. If your ex-spouse has consistently and willfully violated your child custody order, you may ask that they be held in contempt of court. If necessary, you can also petition the court for a modification of your child custody order to address your ex-spouse’s actions and ensure that your children’s best interests are protected.

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Law Offices of Benita Ventresca

20 S. Santa Cruz Ave., Suite 212
Los Gatos, CA 95030

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