Child Custody & Visitation Attorneys in Livermore, California
Divorce is an extreme life change that is emotional, and it becomes even more overwhelming when there are children involved. It is crucial to establish a child custody arrangement that fits the needs and interests of your children, which can be complicated to do during the stressful time of a divorce.
Our experienced team of legal professionals provides expert advice to Bay Area families facing several issues, including child custody arrangements. Crumpley & Crumpley PC believe in open communication and aggressive advocacy. While it is typically best to avoid litigation, our firm can seek to represent you in court if that is what it takes to get the necessary results.
Crumpley & Crumpley PC is proud to represent clients in Livermore, California, and Walnut Creek, Danville, Pleasanton, Dublin, San Ramon, Hayward, and Castro Valley, as well as Alameda or Contra Costa Counties.
Establishing a Child Custody Arrangement
Firstly, it is challenging to decide on the best living arrangements and visitation schedule for the child. There are two primary routes to settling on a child custody arrangement.
If you and the other parent can discuss and agree to a child custody arrangement, then you should do so. When two parents can agree on child custody it results in a quick, least expensive, and painless process. It is often helpful to work with our experienced family law attorneys that can maintain civil and productive conversations when deciding on living arrangements and visitation schedules.
Sometimes, parents cannot agree on a child custody arrangement. Perhaps the parents cannot come to a solution; both parents will go to family court, where a judge will establish a custody arrangement for you. Our family law attorneys can help present your case in court to give you the best chance of achieving an effective arrangement for your family.
Joint Custody vs. Sole Custody
In a joint custody arrangement, both parents share custody of the child. Most of the time, the court sets joint child custody arrangements.
Sole custody is when only one parent has the right or responsibility for the child. Sole custody is typically only awarded in extreme cases where the other parent has a history of abuse, neglect, or other behaviors that may put the child at risk.
Legal Custody vs. Physical Custody
Arrangements can branch off into legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to a parent who makes essential decisions for the child, such as education and health care. Legal custody can be either joint or sole.
Physical custody refers to who the children live with per the child custody arrangement. Physical custody can be joint, sole, or primary, which means that the children live with one parent most of the time and sometimes visit the other parent.
Factors Considered in Determining Custody
Determining the best child custody arrangement for the child depends on several factors.
Two of the most important factors are the age and health of the child. The court will also consider:
The ability of each parent to care for the child
The child’s ties to the school, home, and community
The emotional ties between each parent and the child
The family history of problematic behavior, such as violence or substance abuse
If a parent has less than half the time with the children, according to the custody arrangement, the parent’s time is considered visitation. Visitation is typically set according to a schedule because it prevents conflict and confusion.
Parents also have the option of a more open-ended arrangement, identified as a reasonable visitation arrangement. The parents can work out the arrangement and can be flexible; however, not having a set schedule may cause problems.
It is also possible that visitation is supervised, or perhaps there is no visitation, in more serious situations.
Modifying an Existing Child Custody Arrangement
One of the constants of life is that it is constantly changing. If you agree to a child custody arrangement and months or years down the road it is no longer sustainable; it is possible to obtain a child custody arrangement modification.
For a modification to be approved by the court, a major life event must have changed. A life change can allow you to request a different agreement. Examples of major life events include the loss of a job, a remarriage, one parent not fulfilling duties according to the child custody arrangement, and other similar events.
Child Custody Attorneys
Serving Livermore, California
Protecting your child’s best interests is one of the most crucial things you will ever do. The legal process of establishing a child custody arrangement can be extremely complex. Our team at Crumpley & Crumpley PC can help you consider all options to guide you and your family towards your best interests. Our firm is proud to represent families in Livermore, California, Walnut Creek, Danville, Pleasanton, Dublin, San Ramon, Hayward, and Castro Valley, as well as Alameda or Contra Costa Counties. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.