Child Custody & Child Custody Modification In California

Our children are the most precious part of our lives, so it is no wonder that decisions about the parenting and custody of children can be the most challenging issues in a divorce.  As child custody lawyers in San Diego we have more than 80 years of combined experience that we can draw upon to assist you in disputes relating to your children.

We understand how emotional this aspect of a divorce is for all parents. We recognize parents have many fears and concerns about their ongoing relationship with their children during the divorce and in the years that follow.

Our role as your San Diego child custody lawyers is to work with you and the other parent’s lawyer (or the other parent if he or she is not represented) to establish a parenting plan and a custody arrangement that works for you as well as your children.  If achieving a mutually agreeable plan is not possible, we will fully develop your case for litigation in court.  This is true whether your custody issues arise in the initial divorce action or after the divorce is finalized.  

Terms to Understand

When you talk to a child custody lawyer in San Diego, you will hear many different terms related to the custody of your children, including:

  • Legal custodythis pertains to each parent’s right to make decisions for the child’s health, welfare, and education.
  • Physical custody – this pertains to the time each parent is responsible for the care of the child.

Many parents may have what is called “joint physical custody,” which means that they both have significant periods of physical custody of the children.  This may be an arrangement where each parent has the child with him or her for an equal amount of time but can also apply to a situation where one parent has the child with him or her for 60 or 65 percent of the time.

Another term parents will hear when consulting with a San Diego child custody lawyer is “the best interests of the child”. This is the standard the courts consider when determining the best parenting plan for your child.  Although the court strives to create the opportunity for both parents to have regular and continuing contact with their children, every case presents its own unique circumstances which may affect the court’s decision as to whether a parent should have a significant amount of parenting time and responsibility.

As child custody lawyers in San Diego, we can assess your particular situation and provide you with information on what to expect given the particular circumstances of your family.  

Custody Modifications

As child custody lawyers in San Diego, we provide representation at any time, whether at the beginning of a divorce, in the midst of the divorce process, or after a final court order.  Many times the parenting plan, whether reached by agreement or ordered by the court after a hearing, requires modifications due to various issues that arise at a later time.  Common reasons for modifying a parenting plan include:

  • A parent wishes to move from San Diego with the children
  • A child’s needs have changed because of maturity or some other significant development, such as problems at school, major health issues, etc.
  • A parent’s work schedule has changed
  • A parent has been engaging in substance abuse, illegal activities, or has unsafe living conditions
  • A child is having emotional or behavioral issues