Poway Child Custody and Visitation Lawyers
Poway has the third largest school district in the county and an upper middle class standard of living. When divorce in Poway involves children, child custody and visitation are often among the most fiercely contested issues. It is of vital importance to most parents to protect their parental rights and spend as much time with their children as possible. Our experienced Poway family law attorneys can help ensure that you have legally binding child custody and visitation agreements in place to protect your rights and your child’s best interests, and to help preserve your relationship with your child.
When parents divorce in California, the courts expect them to come to a mutual agreement regarding child custody. A child custody agreement can help ensure you have a say in bringing up your children and continue to have quality time with them. Family law judges award two types of custody:
- Legal custody: Legal child custody refers to a parent’s right to make decisions for a child and his or her duty to care for the child. The judge may issue two types of legal child custody orders. With joint legal custody, you share the right and responsibility to make decisions regarding the child’s health, education, and welfare with the other parent. With sole legal custody, one of the parents is granted the exclusive right and responsibility to make those decisions.
- Physical custody: This type of custody determines who the child will live with and when. With joint physical custody, the child is with each of the parents for significant periods of time. With sole physical custody, the child resides with and is under the supervision of one parent exclusively. The courts typically grant visitation rights to the other parent if it is in the child’s best interests.
In determining child custody, judges consider a number of factors. Some of the most important include:
- Age of the child
- Health of the child
- Each parent’s ability to care for the child
- Each parent’s financial situation
- Emotional relationship between the child and each parent
- Where the child attends school
- The child’s involvement in the community
- Impact a change in the status quo could have on the child
- Any prior custodial arrangements for siblings
- Any history of domestic violence or substance abuse
When one parent is awarded sole custody of a child, the other parent is usually granted visitation rights. The main factors in visitation agreements are the best interests of the child and the situation of each of the parents. A no visitation order may be issued if visitation could pose a risk to the child’s physical or emotional safety.
Three different types of visitation are possible in California:
- Reasonable visitation: This is an open agreement in which the parents can work out a flexible visitation schedule, based on their schedules and the child’s schedule. Reasonable visitation works best when parents communicate well and get along with each other.
- Scheduled visitation: A detailed visitation schedule is agreed upon to prevent conflict and confusion. It may include holidays, vacations, and special occasions.
- Supervised visitation: If a child’s safety and well-being under the supervision of a parent are in question, visitation may be supervised by the other parent, another adult, or an agency.
Child custody and visitation are among the most important matters in a divorce. Your best chance of achieving the most favorable outcome is to have experienced Poway child custody and visitation attorneys representing you. Contact Mattis Law, A.P.C. at (858) 328-4400.