Child Custody Attorney in San Jose, CA
Settling Custody Disputes Throughout Santa Clara County
Going through a divorce is a complex and painful process. When a couple has children, it can become even more stressful. Parents must choose where their children will reside and spend their time. This is an area of contention for many divorcing couples—things can get so heated that they become a “custody battle.”
Unfortunately, it is common for a couple to have trouble coming to a fair custody agreement on their own. Worse, the fear of not spending time with their children is paralyzing and terrifying. The good news is that a child custody attorney in San Jose can help.
At the Law Offices of Thomas Nicholas Cvietkovich, our attorneys have helped to divorce parents protect their parenting rights throughout their divorce and beyond. We know that your children are your world, and we fight aggressively to do what is best for your children every step of the way.
Call the Law Offices of Nick Cvietkovich today at (408) 844-4016 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with our San Jose child custody attorney!
Who Can File For Custody in California?
In California, several individuals may file for custody of a child, including:
- Parents - Biological or adoptive parents have a right to seek custody of their children.
- Grandparents - Grandparents can file for custody if they have an established relationship with the child and prove that their involvement in the child's life is in the child's best interest.
- Other relatives - Other relatives, such as siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins, may file for custody if they have an established relationship with the child and can prove that their involvement in the child's life is in the child's best interest.
- Stepparents - Stepparents can file for custody if they have an established relationship with the child and prove that their involvement in the child's life is in the child's best interest.
- Guardians - A child's legal guardian may file for custody if the current custody arrangement is no longer in the child's best interest.
It is important to note that the court will always consider what is in the child's best interest when making custody decisions. Additionally, filing for custody can be a complex and emotional process, so it is recommended that individuals seeking custody consult with an experienced San Jose child custody attorney.
How is Child Custody Determined in California?
In California, child custody is determined based on what is in the child's best interests. The court considers a variety of factors when making a custody determination, including:
- The child's age, health, and welfare
- Each parent's ability to provide for the child's needs, including food, clothing, medical care, and education
- The child's relationship with each parent and other family members, as well as the child's preference if the child is old enough and mature enough to express a preference
- The stability of each parent's home environment
- Any history of abuse or neglect by either parent
- Each parent's willingness and ability to cooperate with the other parent and facilitate the child's relationship with the other parent
- The child's ties to the school, community, and extracurricular activities
The court may also consider other factors it deems relevant to the child's best interests.
If the parents cannot come to a custody agreement independently, the court will decide after holding a hearing where evidence and testimony can be presented. Having an experienced child custody lawyer in San Jose must help you navigate the custody process and present your case effectively to the court.
Types of Child Custody in California
Child custody is the protective care or guardianship of minor children. In California, there are two types of custody: legal and physical.
Understanding the differences between these types of custody is important.
Legal custody allows parents to make decisions about their children’s welfare. This includes making decisions about medical care and where their children will attend school. It also includes making decisions about religion. Many parents have joint legal custody together. However, in some cases, the court may award one parent sole legal custody.
Physical custody refers to where the children will reside. Like legal custody, many parents share joint physical custody. However, in some cases, the court can award sole physical custody to one parent.
If one parent has sole physical custody, the other may still have visitation rights. Visitation orders are separate from physical custody. It is also essential to know that physical custody is not the same as a parenting plan. A couple can share joint physical custody, yet the children may live with one parent 80% of the time.
Full Custody vs. Shared Custody
Knowing the difference between full and shared custody is also essential.
Full custody is when custody belongs to one parent. This is also referred to as sole custody.
Shared custody, or joint custody, is when custody is split between the parents.
As mentioned, the court can give full legal custody to one parent but joint physical custody—and vice versa. For cases where one person has been deemed an unfit parent in California, the other parent will likely be awarded full legal and physical custody.
Can a Father Get 50/50 Custody in California?
In California, a father can get 50/50 custody of his children. California family law courts generally start with the presumption that joint custody, or equal parenting time, is in the best interests of the child. This means that both parents are given equal time with the child, and are responsible for making decisions about the child's welfare.
However, the court's primary concern is always the best interests of the child. In making custody and visitation decisions, the court will consider a number of factors, including:
- The child's age, health, and emotional well-being
- The parents' ability to provide for the child's needs, including physical, emotional, and educational needs
- The parents' work schedules and ability to care for the child
- The child's relationship with each parent
- Any history of abuse or neglect by either parent
- The child's preference, if the child is mature enough to express a preference
Joint custody may be awarded if both parents are deemed fit and capable to care for the child, and there is no history of abuse or neglect. Nevertheless, each case is unique, and custody and visitation decisions are made on an individual basis.
Contact the Law Offices of Nick Cvietkovich today to meet with our child custody attorney in San Jose!
Making a Parenting Plan in California
When parents go through a divorce or separation in California, one of the most important aspects they need to address is child custody. Creating a parenting plan can help parents establish a clear and effective custody arrangement that meets their child's needs.
Here are some critical steps to creating a parenting plan in California:
- Determine legal and physical custody: California law distinguishes between legal custody (the right to make important decisions about the child's welfare) and physical custody (where the child will live). Parents can share legal and physical custody; one parent may have primary physical custody while both share legal custody.
- Establish a visitation schedule: The parenting plan should include a detailed schedule outlining when the child will spend time with each parent, including weekends, holidays, and special occasions. The plan should also account for travel time and transportation arrangements.
- Outline rules and expectations: The parenting plan should establish clear communication, decision-making, and discipline guidelines. For example, parents may agree to consult with each other before making significant decisions about the child's education or medical care or agree on consistent rules for bedtime, homework, and screen time.
- Address any special circumstances: If any unique circumstances may affect the custody arrangement, such as a child's medical needs or a parent's work schedule, these should be addressed in the parenting plan.
- Be flexible: While the parenting plan should provide structure and consistency, it should also allow flexibility and changes. Parents should be willing to communicate and cooperate to adjust the plan as the child's needs change.
It is important to work with an experienced family law attorney to create a parenting plan that meets your family's specific needs and complies with California law. A San Jose child custody lawyer can help you negotiate with the other parent and ensure the plan is properly documented and enforceable.
“Nick has helped me and my family on multiple occasions, he is incredibly professional and will always look out for your best interest. I highly recommend talking to him and seeing how he can help your case.”
Contact Our Child Custody Attorney in San Jose Today
At the Law Offices of Nick Cvietkovich, our attorney has extensive experience helping parents in California through divorce and child custody issues. When seeking a custody determination, we can fight aggressively for your rights and your children every step of the way.
Our child custody lawyer in San Jose can also help with child custody modifications. In certain situations, changing an existing child custody agreement may be necessary.
Contact the Law Offices of Nick Cvietkovich today to schedule a FREE consultation with our San Jose child custody lawyer!
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