Ensuring the well-being of a child is an important issue that the courts in California take seriously. Determining which party gets custody, whether legal or physical, obviously has a very big impact on the welfare of the child. Although courts have the authority to make decisions regarding child custody, the parents of the child are also at liberty to establish an agreement between themselves without forcing the court to make the decision. Due to the various options available, our experienced Santa Rosa custody attorneys encourage those seeking custody or in the midst of a custody battle to get in touch with a lawyer in order to be fully informed of the details of the often-complex process.
An individual seeking custody of the child has the option to forgo the court system and make efforts to amicably resolve the issue with the other party who also has legal rights concerning the child. Adopting this option has the potential to save a lot of time, money and stress. Further, filing for custody does not guarantee that the court will decide the matter exactly as one parent wishes. The filing parent runs the risk of getting less visitation rights than he/she expected. Because of the unpredictability of the court system, many choose not to get a custody order, and instead make an informal agreement with the other parent. Of course there are risks with the latter option given that the agreement is not legally binding.
In California either parent can have custody of the child or the parents can agree to share custody. When the court is involved in a custody issue, it will address two parts of custody – physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody addresses relates to where the child will live on a daily basis. Legal custody deals with which parent will have the right to make important decisions for the child in regards to issues like education, healthcare and religion.
Full joint physical custody allows both parents to have substantial and frequent contact with the child, with both parents having equal input with regards to major decisions concerning the child’s life. However, joint custody requires parents to be able to work together amicable at all times to ensure the best for their child. If personal animosity or disagreement gets in the way, then the custody arrangement may not be stable in the long-term.
At the end of the day, because of the various factors involved with either filing for custody or resolving the matter privately, it is imperative for an individual seeking custody to contact an experienced Northern California family law attorney to determine which option is best for them.
The Santa Rosa child custody attorneys at Beck Law have worked on these cases for decades. We understand the various factors that a court may consider when deciding on these matters. Each parent’s economic situation, the location of a child’s school, the emotional state of the parents, and similar issues will all come into play. There is not necessary clear rules on how the court must rule in each case–advocacy plays a powerful role.
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