We understand the unique and sensitive nature of family law.
holding hands

Sherman Oaks Child Custody Attorney

Request A Consultation

In California, child custody cases revolve around appointing one or more individuals over the age of 18 to control and care for a child under the age of 18. There are different types of custody that the court must establish for the child. Legal custody involves the authority to control the child’s upbringing by making important decisions regarding healthcare, religion, education, and day-to-day decisions about who your children hang around. Physical custody of a child determines where the child will live or spend most of their time.

The stress can be overwhelming when confronted with a child custody battle in Sherman Oaks, California. The importance of a skilled family law attorney in Sherman Oaks cannot be overstated in such situations. These already emotionally charged disputes can become even more taxing when navigating the legal system alone. However, with a competent child custody attorney in Sherman Oaks on your side, you can expedite the resolution with your former spouse or partner, allowing you and your children to move on without the unnecessary trauma of a prolonged legal battle. Contact Diarian & Bociaga today to learn how we can assist with your Sherman Oaks child custody case by calling (818) 205-9090.

How Does the Child Custody Process Work in California?

The child custody process in California is multi-faceted, involving several steps and court interventions. A parent must open a family law case with the county’s superior court to begin the process. Once the case has been opened, the parent can file a request for a custody order, which must be served on the other parent. The request for custody order will include an explanation of who should have physical custody of the children, why that parent should have physical custody of the children, a request for child support and possible demand for legal costs, and the date, time, and location of the initial child custody hearing.

Depending on the case’s complexity, a child custody case may take years to resolve. However, that doesn’t have to be the case. Parents usually have the option to reach an agreement through mediation. If parents are friendly enough to communicate, they may devise a parenting plan instead of relying on court-ordered custody. On the other hand, if the parents can’t work together to find an amicable solution, the court will have to get involved. Once the case enters litigation, the costs and time involved will increase dramatically. Typical expenses include filing fees, transportation costs, and attorneys’ fees. Additionally, family courts in California are congested, meaning the speed of your case will depend heavily on the court’s availability.

How Will the Court Determine Custody Rights?

If parents can agree on a parenting plan, the court will typically allow it and make the plan legally enforceable. However, the court is forced to take the reigns if the parents can reach a mutual decision. It’s important to understand that according to Family Code Sections 3011, 3020, and 3040, California courts must make custody decisions that are in the child’s best interest. To determine what’s in the child’s best interest, the judge may request a child custody evaluation to understand the family’s circumstances better and why the parents couldn’t reach an agreement. Once the judge evaluates the situation and decides, it becomes legally binding. At this point, it doesn’t matter whether his parents agree with the decision or not.

California courts will consider the following factors to determine what’s in the child’s best interest, including:

  • The child’s safety
  • The child’s preference of parenting
  • The amount of time the child currently spends with each parent
  • The availability of the parent to be present in the child’s life
  • If either parent is addicted to alcohol or drugs
  • The parents’ criminal history
  • Any history of abuse or neglect in a domestic setting
  • The physical and mental condition of each parent

This non-exhaustive list details some of the many factors courts must consider when determining who gets custody of a child. Because California generally believes that a child is best served by having a relationship with both parents, courts will often award joint custody. Joint custody means that both parents will share legal and physical custody of the child. Joint legal custody means both parents have an equal right to make important decisions about their child’s upbringing. However, the court has discretion to assign certain decisions to one parent while allowing both parents to have an equal say in other choices. Joint physical custody is when both parents maintain frequent contact with their children. While one parent may not have the same time with the children as the other parent, these arrangements strike a balance between fairness and availability. 

How Can A Sherman Oaks Child Custody Lawyer Help Me?

Child custody attorneys in Sherman Oaks are helpful at every step of the child custody timeline. While not mandatory, a child custody lawyer in Sherman Oaks can help you begin the process by filing the appropriate paperwork with the court, ensuring everything complies with strict legal guidelines and court rules. Once the case has been initiated, an attorney can evaluate your current situation and determine how to build the best case for you to receive primary custody of your child. A Sherman Oaks child custody attorney knows what questions to ask, how to present evidence to the court, and how to negotiate favorable agreements in mediation.

Although allowable, representing yourself in a child custody proceeding is seldom an intelligent choice. Your judgment will likely be clouded due to the high emotional toll of fighting to see your child, making it difficult to make intelligent decisions. Further, legal paperwork is complicated and lengthy. It requires a skilled professional to look over and ensure accuracy and completeness. Failing to file accurate paperwork will cause avoidable delays in your case and may upset the judge responsible for determining your fate. For these reasons, leaving your case to a skilled legal professional is best.

Contact A Sherman Oaks Child Custody Attorney For Help

At Diarian & Bociaga, we have been representing parents in child custody battles for over a decade. We have extensive experience navigating the California court system and negotiating favorable custody arrangements. We understand that each situation is unique and will take the time to fully comprehend your family’s specific situation. Don’t put your child’s future in jeopardy. Contact Diarian & Bociaga today to learn how we can assist you in your child custody case.