Redlands Child Custody Attorneys
Custody cases can be overwhelming for parents and children. Working with an experienced lawyer, however, can make custody issues easier. In most cases, all parties benefit by reaching a custody agreement through negotiation or mediation because these means of resolution do not further damage the relationships.
The attorneys at Bowler and Bowler are skilled in custody negotiation, mediation and litigation. Mediation is mandatory for contested child custody cases. Our firm has experience serving as a representing clients in all aspects of child custody. If the other parent will not negotiate or mediate reasonably, you can rely on our ability to protect your rights at trial. The firm provides child custody and support representation to married parents, same-sex parents, unmarried couples and grandparents.
Protecting The Best Interests Of The Child
Under California law, custody is determined by what is in the best interests of the child. It can be granted as sole or joint legal and physical custody.
Visitation (or time sharing), is how parents will share time with their children. The arrangements may be specified in the custody agreement or may be decided by the court if the case goes to trial. Custody is typically less stressful for everyone involved when the parents can work out an agreement in negotiations or mediation. This allows for more flexibility in the arrangements and gives the parents an opportunity to plan ahead for the child’s education, religious upbringing and teenage issues such as driving and dating.
A Lawyer Can Help You Identify How Courts Determine Best Interest
As a parent or guardian, you likely have your own ideas about what is best for your child, and so does the other party trying to gain or share custody. Unfortunately, these two ideas of what works best for your child may not coincide. Subsequently, you may wonder what California courts consider when deciding on the best living situations for children in Redlands and other Inland Empire communities. Here are considerations to work through with your attorney:
- Preference: If California courts determine the children are mature enough to make their own decisions, they may have a say in which parent they live with or spend a certain amount of time with. Because of this, many parents try to sway children in the time leading up to child custody decisions, but be careful of this. Some tactics might run afoul of what the courts consider appropriate for children and can award custody to the other parent because of such conduct.
- Co-Parenting Ability: Our child custody lawyers have seen many instances where parents prejudiced their own cases by the tactics they resorted to. This is because California courts dislike when one parent tries to get in the way of the other spending time with the children. In some instances, this may lead to that parent losing custody or facing restrictions regarding custody and visitation.
- Stability: Parents need to prove they can provide a stable home to care for children safely in the long term. Stability is a major consideration as children are often experiencing extraordinary upheaval in their lives due to the divorce.
- Safety and Health: Stability provides a foundation for good mental health for the children, but physical health is also important. Issues bearing on responsible parenting, domestic violence, or other items of neglect become important in the custody decision. Care should be given as to how new partners are introduced to the children.
- Custody Arrangements: There are many different child custody considerations to work through with your attorney. Shared parenting is very common but the arrangements vary from case to case based upon many factors. Some parents try nesting as a mean to maintain constancy for the children. In this case, the children live in one home and the parents do the rotating, moving in and out of the space.
- Relationships: Children have strong relationships with people aside from their parents. For instance, if one parent plans to move across the country or splitting the kids separates them from step-siblings they were raised with, this complicates the decision. The court may prefer to keep the children in an arrangement where they can continue to maintain existing relationships in Redlands or other places they might live.
Work With a Lawyer To Make Child Custody Modifications
Our family law attorneys understand that relationships and family needs change over time. There are also instances where families try a particular arrangement and then discover that it looks great on paper but simply does not work well for them in practice. Here are some of the circumstances this can happen:
- Education: The more financially dependent spouse may be the primary caretaker of the children. After a divorce, this person may return to school. This could lead to needing the other parent to step in and help out with the kids more often.
- Business: A job or career change may cause someone to need to rely on the other parent more often. For instance, the primary custodial parent may get a promotion that requires traveling more often or working longer hours. Conversely, one parent may begin to work from home full-time and feel able to take on greater parenting responsibilities.
- Suitability: Unfortunately, there have been instances where the custodial parent later became an unsuitable parent, which allowed the noncustodial parent to gain custody. Common reasons include substance abuse, domestic violence involving a new partner or any other issue which impact the parent’s ability to provide appropriate care.
- Recovery: If one parent previously lost custody of the child or could not maintain his or her end of the custody arrangement, the court may have made modifications to reflect this. Instances include imprisonment or substance abuse. When the person becomes rehabilitated, the San Bernardino and Riverside courts may be open to changing the child custody order again.
- Preference: As alluded to before, when children grow older, they may decide they no longer wish to continue with the current arrangement. Working with a lawyer can help you modify the order to reflect this. For instance, many children ultimately grow to dislike 50/50 arrangements or decide they prefer to live with the noncustodial parent full-time instead.
Also Handling Custody Modifications
If your custody orders no longer meet the needs of your family, you can request a modification. The firm can assist you with modifications to custody and child support orders. We can also represent you if you are trying to stop a modification you feel would adversely affect you or your child.
Call a Redlands Child Custody Attorney Today
We understand the sensitive nature of child custody cases and are here to guide you through these complex legal matters while protecting your parental rights. To arrange your initial consultation with an experienced child custody attorney in Redlands, please contact our law offices online or by telephone at 909-335-4848.