Santa Barbara Attorney Glenn L. Robertson Answers Your Child Custody Questions
There are many misconceptions about child custody
Are there any drawbacks to filing for custody?
Possibly, if you already have informal custody of the child and the other parent is uninvolved with the child's life, filing for custody could bring the other parent into the picture. It might initiate a long custody battle with multiple hearings, and expose your private life to scrutiny.
Do I need a lawyer to file for custody?
No, but you might regret it if you don't, especially if the other party has counsel. There is a great deal of paperwork and potentially numerous court hearings. It is extremely difficult for anyone to navigate the process successfully without a family law attorney. Glenn L. Robertson is a Board Certified Family Law Attorney with over 20 years experience in child custody matters. He can help you obtain a successful outcome in your custody case.
What are the types of custody arrangements?
Joint physical custody means both parents have equal right to contact and living arrangements with the child. Joint legal custody means both parents equally share in the decision-making regarding the child.
Sole legal custody is when one parent has the right to make all the major decisions about the child and sole physical custody means that one parent has physical custody of the child in the home. Typically, the parent who does not have custody does have visitation rights.
What is the difference between custody and visitation?
A parent who has sole custody of a child after divorce has the sole right to make major decisions about the child and also has the sole responsibility for providing a home for the child. The parent who does not have custody of the child generally receives visitation rights as part of the child custody order. Visitation rights vary but unless there is some reason why the non-custodial parent's rights should be limited, family law courts are usually generous with visitation rights. The non-custodial parent does not have the legal right to make decisions about the child but does have the legal right to interact on a regular basis with the child.
How does a court decide who gets custody?
There are a number of factors a court uses in determining child custody cases. Among those factors are the following:
- Which parent is more likely to grant the other frequent contact with the child?
- Is there drug or alcohol abuse?
- If the child is over 12 years in age, what is the child's preference?
- Is there evidence of domestic violence?
In the end, the court will base its decision upon the arrangement that is in the child's best interests.
If you have further questions about the child custody process, contact Glenn L. Robertson today
Glenn L. Robertson has been handling child custody cases in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, and the surrounding area for over 20 years. Contact him online or call his office today at 805-963-3535 for an appointment.