Santa Monica Child Custody Lawyer

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As a parent, you want a Santa Monica child custody attorney who is intelligent and compassionate yet aggressive when fighting for your custody rights. At Fernandez & Karney, we offer comprehensive representation in all child custody matters, whether part of a larger legal case such as a divorce or paternity suit or a stand-alone issue like a custody modification.

Fernandez & Karney’s child custody attorneys are:

  • Honest and forthright when providing you with advice
  • Respectful and responsive to your questions and concerns
  • Focused on practical solutions that are tailored to meet your needs

Reach out to Fernandez & Karney in Santa Monica to schedule a confidential consultation. You and your children are unique. Get the customized legal representation you deserve.

Our Santa Monica Child Custody Attorneys Can Help

At Fernandez & Karney, our Santa Monica child custody lawyers will take the time necessary to explain California’s child custody laws to you and ensure you understand how these laws affect you and your children. We want you to feel confident when making the best possible choices for yourself and your children and act as your guides throughout the entire legal process.

Fernandez & Karney’s child custody attorneys are also available to do the following on your behalf:

  • Prepare and file court documents, including final custody orders
  • Represent you in negotiations or courtroom litigation
  • Help you in preparing a workable child custody plan
  • Find creative solutions to complex parenting issues
  • Resolve related matters such as child support

Call or contact Fernandez & Karney’s Santa Monica office in person or online. Our Santa Monica family law lawyers look forward to meeting with you at your convenience and will strive to diligently resolve your legal issues, no matter how complicated.

Determining Child Custody in Santa Monica

The family court in Santa Monica, California, prefers parents make their own child custody and visitation arrangements whenever possible.  However, the court will stipulate a custody plan when the parents cannot agree.  

When the court must order a child custody plan, it does so according to the best interests of the child.  This is determined by many factors, including but not limited to:

  • The health, safety, and welfare of the child (Fam. Code § 3011(a)(1))
  • The desires of the child (beginning at age 14) (Fam. Code § 3042)
  • The stability of each parent
  • Any history of domestic violence or abuse by either parent (Fam. Code § 3020(a), § 3011(a)(2)(A), § 3044)
  • Habitual illegal use of controlled substances and abuse of alcohol or prescription drugs by either parent (Fam. Code § 3011(a)(4))
  • Each parent’s ability to care for the child
  • The nature and amount of contact the child currently has with each parent (Fam. Code § 3011(a)(3))
  • The family court may make any orders regarding the custody of a child, during the child’s minority, that seem necessary or proper (Fam. Code § 3022) if the parents are not able to come to an agreement in child custody mediation.

The court has broad discretion when making child custody determinations.  However, the court may not consider a parent’s:

  • Sex
  • Gender identity
  • Gender expression 
  • Sexual orientation

Legal Custody in Santa Monica

There are two types of child custody in Santa Monica, California. These are legal and physical child custody. Either kind of child custody may be joint, meaning shared, or sole.

When parents share legal custody jointly, both have the right and responsibility to make decisions about the welfare, health, and education of a child. Parents who share joint legal custody of a child do not have to agree on every decision but should communicate when making decisions to avoid the need to return to court.  

A parent with sole legal custody may make these decisions without consulting with the other parent.

Physical Custody in Santa Monica

Physical custody refers to where a child lives. Like legal custody, physical custody may be joint or sole. Due to parents’ and child’s schedules, joint physical custody does not necessarily mean a child spends precisely half the time with each parent.

Contact an Experienced Santa Monica Child Custody Attorney

For more information about child custody laws or filing a child custody case in Santa Monica, contact Fernandez & Karney. Our experienced child custody attorneys in Santa Monica will listen to your circumstances and provide you with the sound advice you need to move ahead with your child custody matter.

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