Need Advice in Your Child Custody Agreement?

Our San Diego Child Custody Attorney Offers Help in Legal Custody Agreement and Issues

Photo of kids raising their hands in a classroomLegal issues involving a child can be complex and are always emotionally charged. When a divorce involves children, the process can easily become strained, especially if you and your spouse disagree about what would be best for your kids. Parents may fight for the favor of their children at the cost of their relationships with other family members. Adhering to a temporary order can be stressful, which may only exacerbate disagreements. Additionally, depending on the relationship you have with your spouse, a dispute over child custody can add years to your divorce case. At this difficult time, you need the help of a San Diego child custody attorney you can trust to handle your case with the utmost compassion, skill and professionalism.

The San Diego divorce attorneys at Gnau & Tamez have been helping parents modify child custody agreements, establish rules for visitation and negotiate custody arrangements since 2009. Child custody arrangements are often modified as it is hard to imagine a child care plan for a five-year-old will work when that child becomes a fifteen-year-old. If you are considering divorce or have started divorce proceedings with children, then we can offer you guidance. We can also work with you to establish a child custody agreement that protects the best interests of your children.

How Do Courts Determine Child Custody?

Courts want to put your child in an environment that is in his or her best interest. Ideally, you and your spouse will work together to negotiate an agreement that works for everyone. However, if you cannot reach an agreement, then the court will determine physical and legal custody arrangements. Physical custody refers to the right to time spent with the child; legal custody is the right to make decisions for the child, such as where he or she will attend school. Often, parents will share legal custody, while one parent (the “custodial parent”) will have physical custody and will provide the child’s home address.

Some conditions our attorneys will research to determine options for child custody include:

  • Stability. Uprooting the life of your child is never something you want to do. Neither do the courts. If staying with you means that your child stays in his or her school, city or state, then the courts will be more likely to award you custody. Whether or not your divorce is contested also plays a part in the process.
  • Finances. Your ability to financially and physically provide essentials is important. Courts want to establish who can effectively provide medical care, put food on the table, provide shelter and buy clothing for their child. However, child support arrangements also factor into this decision.
  • Medical History. The court will consider any mental or physical condition parents have when determining the specifics of a child custody agreement. This includes the medical history of both parents and the child.
  • Family Relationship. Unfortunately, divorce cases are not always good examples of parties working cooperatively. If you and your former spouse are willing to support the child’s relationship with each other, then the court will consider this.

What Are Visitation Rights?

Sharing legal custody requires both parents to have a say in making decisions about the child’s life. However, sharing physical custody is more difficult, since a child cannot be in two places at once. Therefore, one parent is typically appointed as the custodial parent. This means that the child lives with him or her most of the time. The non-custodial parent then usually receives visitation rights, or the right to spend time with the child on a regular basis.

Every family is different, so there is no single formula for child visitation agreements. A child custody lawyer can work with you to negotiate with your spouse and his or her attorney. We can establish a visitation schedule that works for you and your family’s unique situation. However, if parents cannot come to an agreement over the rules of visitation, then the courts may order a visitation schedule.

Additionally, a child custody agreement is not set in stone. If your circumstances change, then you may be able to alter your arrangements and the visitation schedule to fit your new situation. If you need to modify a child custody agreement, then our attorneys can help.

Questions? Contact a San Diego Child Custody Attorney for a Free Consultation

It is often difficult to settle disputes about your child with your former spouse, since parents will usually fight to protect their children. Therefore, you need someone who can give you peace of mind with respectful counsel and excellent service. The San Diego child custody attorneys at Gnau & Tamez are committed to improving the lives of children and their families through skillful and assertive legal representation. We do everything possible to reach a smooth, swift and efficient resolution.

We understand that this is a challenging time and know you deserve attentive and individualized service. From your initial consultation to the resolution of your case, we work to protect the best interests of your children. Call our divorce attorneys at (619) 269-8000 or contact us through our website to set up a free consultation today.