The law says that judges must award child custody according to what is in the “best interest of the child.” To decide what is best for a child, the court will consider:
- The age of the child;
- The health of the child;
- The emotional ties between the parents and the child;
- The ability of the parents to care for the child;
- Any history of family violence or substance abuse; and
- The child’s ties to home, school, and community.
Courts do not automatically give custody to the mother or the father regardless of the age or sex of the children. Courts cannot deny your right to custody or visitation because you were never married to the other parent, or because you or the other parent has a physical disability or a different lifestyle, religious belief, or sexual orientation. Our attorneys have over 30 years of experience helping clients win custody of their children, and we can provide you with the guidance you need during this difficult process.
How Will the Judge Decide Child Custody and Child Support?
In addition to custody orders, the court can make child support orders. Keep in mind that a child support order is separate from child custody and visitation. You cannot refuse to let the other parent see the children because he or she is not making the child support payments that the court ordered. Also, you cannot refuse to pay child support just because the other parent is not letting you see your children. However, child support and custody are related because the amount of time each parent spends with the children will affect the amount of child support the court will order one parent to pay to the other.
In some cases where child custody is an issue, the court may appoint a lawyer to represent the interest of the children in the marriage. If this takes place, the parents will be ordered by the court to pay for the minor’s attorney.
What Happens if One or Both Parents Want to Change the Court Order?
After a judge makes a custody or visitation order, one or both parents may want to change the order. Usually, the judge will approve a new custody and visitation order that both parents agree to. If the parents cannot agree on a change, one parent can ask the court for a change. That parent will have to complete certain court documents to ask for a court hearing and prove to the judge that there has been a significant change in circumstances since the prior court order was entered. Both parents will most likely have to meet with a mediator to discuss why the parents cannot agree on what the current child custody agreement should be. Then, the mediator will make a recommendation to the court.
Let Wallin & Klarich Help You Make a Difference in Your Case
The lawyers at Wallin & Klarich have over thirty years experience in successfully representing clients facing child custody and visitation matters. We possess the knowledge of the law and the attention to detail necessary to help you obtain the best possible result in your case. With offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, Ventura, West Covina, and San Diego, our team of professional child custody attorneys will be with you when you call.
Call us today at (888) 749-7428. We will get through this together.