Information you need

Additional resources

CHILD CUSTODY

Mother and Father holding child's hand

Child custody and visitation issues can often be the most difficult to contemplate when filing for divorce. Many of our worst fears and stereotypes about divorce are centered upon the issue of children. Many people going through a divorce remember their own parents’ divorce and the effects it may have had on their own childhood. California Family Law has evolved a long history of cases in considering children in divorce, and there have been many important changes in the child custody laws over the past twenty years. Consequently, parents going through a divorce in California today have many new services and procedures available to them in order to work out healthy parenting arrangements that work well for both parents and children.

Call me for a free evaluation (831) 459-6718Under California law, children must have frequent and continuing contact with both parents. The most important aspect under California family law in deciding child custody is finding a timeshare between both parents which works best for the children There is often a great deal of confusion over the concept of custody of children. In times past, custody of children was awarded to the parent who was the “most fit,” and there was often a unhealthy contest between parents in attempting to prove who was the most unfit parent. California law now, however, generally presumes both parents to be fit (though this is not always true) and the courts look, not exclusively to the parents, but more to the children’s best interests in order to decide where the children should live.

When the child’s parents are unmarried, most state laws require that the mother be awarded sole physical custody unless the father takes action to be awarded custody. An unwed father may have difficulty gaining custody over a mother who is a good parent, but he will usually take priority over other relatives, foster parents or prospective adoptive parents.

Call me for a free evaluation (831) 459-6718In deciding who will have custody, the courts consider various factors. The overriding consideration is always the “best interests of the child.” Often, an important factor is which parent has been the child’s primary caretaker. If the children are old enough, the courts will often take their preference into account in making a custody decision. Once entered, a custody award can be changed by the court if the parent’s or children’s circumstances have changed.

Domestic Violence and Child Custody

Even though California is a no -fault state for dissolution of marriage, evidence of domestic violence in a marriage can play a major role in decisions regarding the children of the parties.

Child Visitation

Under the California Family Code, children must have frequent and continuing contact with both parents. Whenever possible, the parents shall maintain a relationship with their children after divorce, even if the visitation must be supervised.

If visitation rights have become an issue in your divorce, I am ready to protect your parenting rights. I work with clients on both sides of the visitation issue. I have extensive experience handling parenting schedules and custody issues.

Top of page

Contact information

Image of the Law Offices of Robert Frandeen
4630 Soquel Drive
Soquel Financial Bldg.
Suite 5
Soquel, CA 95073
Phone: (831) 459-6718

Get directions