California Child Custody & Visitation

Child Custody & Visitation Attorneys in San Diego

If you and your spouse have a minor child together, we recognize that your child is your most important concern, and that you likely have many questions about custody and visitation. We’ll guide you through the custody process, which may include mediation, and pursue your rights so that your child is protected.

Types of Child Custody and Visitation Arrangements

There are essentially two types of custody: physical and legal custody. Physical custody refers to who the child actually resides with. Legal custody refers to who has the right and is responsible for making decisions regarding the child’s health, education, and welfare. Many factors are taken into account, particularly the child’s best interests. Sole or joint custody may be awarded by the court or agreed upon, with several possible combinations that may include visitation arrangements for a non-custodial parent.

Before a permanent custody order is made, we’ll file a petition with the court to obtain temporary custody and visitation orders if you wish.  If you and the other parent have reached an understanding on temporary or permanent custody, we’ll submit the agreement to the court at the appropriate time. A temporary custody order can have very important effects on a future permanent order, and we’ll take these considerations into account before agreement is reached, as well as ensure that the agreement is more likely to be approved by the court.

Modifying a Child Custody Order During and After Divorce

Both during court proceedings and after an order is made, it may be possible to change a legal or physical custody order.

If you wish, we’ll evaluate the circumstances in light of the legal requirements and submit a petition with the Court requesting to modify the order, or challenge a modification request if you’re opposed to any changes.

Temporary Visits Outside California and Move-aways

Generally, during and after divorce proceedings, restrictions are placed on whether
you and the other parent may take a child outside of California.  These restrictions may apply whether the removal is to be a temporary stay outside of California, for example taking the child on vacation, or is to permanently change a child’s residence, known as a “move-away.”

Whether you are seeking or opposing a change in the custody order allowing a parent to take a child outside of California, we’ll help protect your interests in your child’s well-being and ensure the appropriate notice, declarations, and motions are made.

Custody and Visitation Related Legal Services

Kathy MinellaCalifornia Child Custody & Visitation