Child Custody & Visitation in Rancho Cucamonga, CA
San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga & Upland Divorce Attorney
Custody and visitation issues usually arise in the process of the
divorce or, in the case of unmarried parents, in a paternity action. The court
will make orders regarding both physical custody and legal custody. Due
to the importance of such family law matters, it is crucial that no time
is wasted in getting the involvement of an experienced
Rancho Cucamonga family law attorney who will be able to stand up for your best interests. As a certified Family
Law Specialist, you can trust in Aaron M. Hudson to provide you
with skilled and compassionate legal representation when it is needed most.
Read below to learn more about custody!
WHAT IS PHYSICAL CUSTODY?
Physical custody refers to with whom the child resides.
Sole physical custody means that the child will reside with and under the supervision of one parent.
Joint physical custody means that each parent will have significant periods of physical custody.
WHAT IS LEGAL CUSTODY?
Sole legal custody means that one parent will have the right and responsibility to make decisions
regarding the health, education, and welfare of the child.
Joint legal custody means the parents will share that right and responsibility.
How is child custody awarded in California?
Custody must be awarded according to the child's best interests. The California
legislature has declared that it is the public policy of the state to
ensure minor children have frequent and continuing contact with both parents
after their separation or dissolution. It is also the policy of the law
to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities of child
rearing, except when that contact would not be in the child's best
California law establishes no preference or presumption in contested proceedings
for either sole or joint custody. However, the legislature has declared
that is the public policy of the state to ensure that each child's
health, safety, and welfare—expressly including freedom from child
abuse and domestic violence in the child's residence—be the
court's primary concern in determining the child's best interests.
How does the court determine the child's best interests?
There are a number of statutory factors the court considers in determining
"best interest." However, custody determinations may not be
based on gender, race, or sexual preference (except where detrimental
to the child). Courts typically require the parties to participate in
mediation prior to litigating their custody dispute. Courts also may appoint
an attorney for the child or may order a child custody evaluation to be
What is custody mediation?
Mediation is a counseling session whereby a trained therapist attempts
to help the parties reach an agreement regarding child custody and visitation.
Some counties, such as San Bernardino and Ventura, are "recommending
counties," which means if the parties do not reach an agreement,
the mediator will make a custody recommendation to the court. In other
counties, such as Los Angeles and Orange, the mediators may not make a
recommendation to the court and everything that is said in mediation remains
At what age does the child get to decide who he lives with?
While the court will consider a child's preferences in making custody
determinations, that preference is weighted in accordance with the child's
age and maturity. In some cases, the preferences of 10- and 13-year olds
have been found to be very mature and were properly considered, while
in other cases, courts have found disregarded preferences stated by teenagers
because they were not supported by mature reasoning.
To learn more about how our law firm can help you fight for a fair agreement,
please contact us now!