Santa Barbara Child Custody AttorneysKaspar & Lugay LLP
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Kaspar & Lugay LLP Delivers Responsive Service and Tenacious Advocacy.A Santa Barbara law firm advocating for you and your family.
Child custody is the most important issue arising out of divorce when children are a part of the family. It is critical that in the emotionally fraught and uncertain time in and around a divorce, you have a guiding hand to help you manage the other legal issues involved, especially those relating to your children. Physical custody, parenting plans, and rights of visitation are just some of the contentious decisions the court may make in a custody battle. You need a legal advocate that is fighting for your best interests every step of the way.
Having an experienced Santa Barbara custody lawyer as that advocate will allow you to focus on the emotional and financial well-being of your family. For example, the standard for all child custody determinations is what is in the best interests of the child. It should come as no surprise that this important phrase has different meanings for different people, so it is important that your lawyer can build your case with his knowledge of California law and his knowledge of your objectives.
At Kaspar & Lugay LLP in Santa Barbara, our child custody lawyers are focused on developing an intimate understanding of you and your goals. With a foundation of trust and understanding combined with family law expertise, our team of exceptional attorneys will secure the resolution you deserve through tenacious advocacy.
Please contact us today to learn more about how we can help you protect your rights and the rights of your family. We are rapidly becoming known as a go-to firm for child custody, divorce, and related family law issues here in Santa Barbara, and we want to meet you to discuss your case.
How Child Custody Is Determined in CaliforniaKaspar & Lugay LLP, Santa Barbara
Child custody and visitation determinations are made on the basis of what “the best interests of the child” are. Under California law, the court will make that determination based on the facts of the case.
Despite some rumors to the contrary, the determination of custody is not biased towards the mother or the father. Similarly, custody cannot be denied to a parent because of things like religious beliefs, disabilities, or the sexual orientation of a parent. In other words, the process is entirely fair and based solely on the best interests of the child.
What determines the best interests of the child under California law?
The court will consider the following factors when deciding what kind of custody arrangement is in the best interests of the child:
- Child’s age and health
- Emotional ties between the parents and child
- Ability of a parent to care for the child, physically, financially and emotionally
- Any history of violence or substance abuse on the part of the parents or others in the home
- Child’s tie to school, home, and community
Other factors that may be considered by the court include:
- Participation of each parent in the child’s activities
- Time spent with the child by each parent
- The existence of negativity or fighting in the home
In the majority of cases decided in California, the “best interest of the child” means continued, frequent contact with both parents through a joint custody parenting arrangement.
Even if this is a desirable solution for all involved, there can be wrinkles that the court will consider, such as a situation where one parent travels frequently for work. In this case, the court may find that the parents should share joint legal custody, but the parent who does not travel should have sole physical custody. In this situation, it is critical that you have a Santa Barbara custody lawyer who can identify these potential issues beforehand and create a plan to get you the outcome you and your family deserve.
How to Get Custody of Your Child
The answer to how to get custody of your child or children in California is by demonstrating to the court that the child’s best interests will be served by being in your legal and physical custody.
There is a strong bias towards both parents having a substantial, healthy relationship with their children. At the same time, it may be that one parent, who is otherwise willing and able, cannot manage physical custody due to a busy work schedule. Is it a fair result for that parent or the children to not allow them to spend any time with that parent? Custody arrangements are seldom black and white, so let’s take a look at physical and legal custody arrangements.
Sole physical custody may be granted by the court in cases where one spouse is a danger to the child, such as when the spouse has been abusive or neglectful or has substance abuse issues.
This does not mean the non-custodial spouse is not allowed to see his or her children, however. The judge in the case will issue an order on visitation that balances the factors involved to ensure the best interests of the child, including safety.
Joint physical custody means that the child splits time between the homes of each parent. The details are part of a parenting plan that is generally worked out between the mother and father and is approved by the court.
Sole legal custody may be granted in a case where one parent is deemed unfit, or is absent from the child’s life. Since it is in the best interest of the child to have stability and consistency in how he or she is raised, the court may grant full decision-making authority to one parent.
Courts in California prefer custody arrangements in which both parents share decision-making responsibility over their child. This is what is known as joint legal custody. Under this arrangement, both parents have the authority to make important decisions regarding their child’s upbringing. Examples of these decisions include education, major medical care and religious affiliation.
What Clients Say About Kaspar & Lugay LLPYour satisfaction with our service is our highest priority.
Brent and his team at Kaspar and Lugay have been phenomenal in their representation. They’ve had the cumbersome task of cleaning up the work of my previous attorney and dealing with a very contentious situation. They’ve been diligent, organized, professional and a true ‘calm in the storm’. I highly recommend their services.
Best Attorney Ever. Brent is exactly the person you want in your corner. My complex divorce landed in the best, most capable hands you can imagine. Everything about my divorce became instantly effortless- Brent is brilliant at handling all the details and guiding through with expertise. I had NO stress, which is hard to imagine in my situation. He is steady as a rock, knows his stuff, and is EXACTLY the person you want on the job when you need an attorney.