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Carlsbad Child Custody and Visitation Lawyers

Dedicated Legal Advocates in Child Custody and Visitation Matters in Carlsbad

Child custody is the legal relationship between a parent and a child. A parent has both the right to make decisions for the child and the duty to care for the child. If you are dealing with child custody issues, an experienced Carlsbad child custody and visitation attorney can help protect your future and the best interests of your children.

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What Are the Two Types of Child Custody in Carlsbad?

In California, child custody is divided into two different categories:

  • Legal custody: This is the right parents have to make legal decisions for the child. These decisions may pertain to what school the child attends, what medical treatment the child receives, when the child gets a driver’s license, and other matters affecting the child’s welfare. Legal custody can be joint (shared between both parents) or sole (awarded to only one parent). When legal custody is shared, both parents must agree.
  • Physical custody: This refers to the parent with whom the child lives. With sole physical custody, the child lives with one parent. When joint physical custody is awarded, the child lives with both parents in different homes at different times. If one parent has sole physical custody, the other parent typically has visitation rights.

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What Are the Most Important Factors in Determining Child Custody?

Carlsbad courts prefer that parents arrive at a mutually agreed upon child custody arrangement, although a judge may step in if he or she believes there is conflict between the parents, or the child may be in danger. When a custody dispute occurs and cannot be resolved out of court, family courts are always guided by the best interests of the child. Judges may take a number of factors into consideration before making a custody decision, including:

  • Age of the child
  • Health of the child
  • Each parent’s ability to care for the child
  • Emotional relationships between each parent and the child
  • Where the child goes to school
  • The child’s involvement in the community
  • Any history of domestic violence or substance abuse for either parent

To win primary physical custody in a dispute with the other parent, you must show the court that it is in your child’s best interest to live with you more. This may involve providing evidence of how you will parent the child, including school, childcare, and the living environment you will provide. It may also involve pointing out flaws in the other parent’s parenting skills, such as a busy work schedule or past interference with your visitation.

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How Do Visitation Agreements Work in Carlsbad?

When one parent is awarded sole or primary physical custody, the other parent typically has visitation rights. The four types of visitation arrangements in Carlsbad are:

  • Scheduled visitation: A detailed visitation schedule is established to avoid confusion and prevent conflict between the parents.
  • Reasonable visitation: In this open type of visitation arrangement, parents can work out flexible visitation between them, based on their schedules and the child’s.
  • Supervised visitation: When the safety of the child under the supervision of one parent is in question, the court may order supervised visitation. This is typically ordered when a parent has a history of drug use, abuse, neglect, or other behavior that may endanger the child.
  • No visitation: If the court believes the physical or emotional safety of the child is in question, an order of no visitation may be issued.

Child custody and visitation are important matters to resolve in a separation or a divorce. Contact Mattis Law, A.P.C. at (858) 328-4400 to get a skilled Carlsbad family law lawyer on your side.

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(858) 328-4400