For most parents, few ideas are scarier than the thought of losing their children (or even losing significant time with them). This is the fear that many parents bring into a child custody case. Thankfully, this fear is usually unfounded.
California law requires courts to make custody decisions in the best interests of children. In most cases, that means keeping both parents significantly involved in the children’s lives whenever possible. Unless there is evidence to the contrary, it is assumed that children are best served by having frequent contact with both parents on a continual basis.
Negotiated Agreements Vs. Contested Custody
There are two ways to assign custody and parenting time. The first (and arguably easiest) way is through negotiation. You and your co-parent work together to draft a detailed parenting plan that is then signed by the judge. This can be done with the help and input of your attorneys and/or custody mediator called a Child Custody Recommending Counselor (CCRC). This option gives both parents the most control over the outcome of the case, but it does require cooperation.
The other approach is contested custody. If you and your co-parent cannot agree on a plan, even after custody mediation, the court can make the custody/parenting plan decisions for you based on the CCRC’s recommendation, a more detailed 3111 custody evaluation that is sometimes ordered by the court, and/or trial. This method affords the least amount of control, and is often more expensive and time-consuming. However, it is helpful to have that option available should you need it.
A Firm Offering Both Legal Skill And Compassion
If you are worried about child custody or any other family law issue, the Law Office of Linda D. States is here to help guide you through this difficult time. I understand and appreciate custody matters both as a lawyer and as a single parent.
As it is with most clients, my first job is to inform you of the law and process that applies to your situation, and then identify the best options available. This often reduces stress and anxiety as we work to achieve the best outcome for you and your children.
If a negotiated agreement is possible and is in your children’s best interests, I will help you pursue it for all of the reasons mentioned above. If your spouse or co-parent proves unwilling to negotiate, however, I am prepared to aggressively advocate for you and your children in the courtroom.
Don’t Wait To Get Started — Call Today
The Law Office of Linda D. States is located in Sacramento and Roseville and proudly serves clients throughout the area. To discuss your case with an experienced child custody and visitation lawyer, call me at 916-696-2425. You can also request an appointment through my online contact form.