West Los Angeles Child Custody Attorney

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Your children are of the utmost importance to you in any legal matter, whether that is a stand-alone child custody case, modification of a former case, a divorce, or another family law issue.  Therefore it is vital to choose the right law firm to represent your interests in fighting for your child custody needs and desires and your children’s best interests.

At Fernandez & Karney, our West Los Angeles child custody lawyers understand the impact legal cases have on parents and their children. That is why we offer child custody advocacy that is:

  • Strong yet compassionate
  • Practical and practicable
  • Determined and successful in all areas of child custody and visitation

Reach out to the West LA child custody attorneys at Fernandez & Karney now to discuss our approach to child custody matters and learn how California’s child custody laws affect you and your children.

Let Our West Los Angeles Child Custody Attorneys Help You

Your legal consultation at Fernandez & Karney is completely confidential. An experienced West Los Angeles family law attorney will answer your most pressing child custody questions and address your legal concerns.  

Fernandez & Karney’s child custody attorneys can also help you with the following:

  • Explaining your custody options
  • Negotiating with the other parent or their attorney
  • Filing necessary court documents
  • Representing your interests in court or another dispute resolution process
  • Preparing and enforcing final custody orders
  • Deciding if you and your co-parent can exercise joint custody
  • Preparing a proposed or final custody and visitation schedule

If your child custody issue is part of a divorce, paternity, or any other legal matter, Fernandez & Karney can help resolve those matters regardless of their complexity. Speak with a member of our experienced legal team in West Los Angeles today.

The Best Interest of the Child

When parents cannot agree on an appropriate custody and visitation schedule for their child, the court will order a custody plan.  In doing so, the court will consider the best interests of the child.  

Some of the factors the court uses to determine the child’s best interests include:

  • 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 is not biased towards either parent in awarding children custody. California gives the court broad discretion when making child custody decisions.

Legal and Physical Custody in West Los Angeles

There are two distinct types of child custody in California:  legal custody and physical custody.  Legal child custody deals with the important decisions about a child’s life, such as health care, education, and welfare.  

Physical custody refers to where a child resides. A parent may have sole legal or physical custody, or parents may share any combination.  Shared custody is called joint custody.

Unless it is against the best interests of the child, the court typically grants joint legal custody.  Exceptions may include:

  • A parent who is incarcerated
  • A parent who has a history of serious mental health issues
  • A parent who has a history of domestic violence
  • A parent who should not be making decisions about the child’s health, education, and welfare for any other reason

When one parent has sole physical custody, the other parent will likely be granted visitation rights. In a joint physical custody situation, each parent has significant but not necessarily equal periods of physical custody.

Contact an Experienced West Los Angeles Child Custody Attorney

Let an experienced West LA child custody lawyer at Fernandez & Karney guide you through your child custody case. It is crucial to have an experienced attorney by your side when presenting your child custody interests in negotiations and before the court.  

Call or contact Fernandez & Karney in person or online for child custody advice you can rely on.