Campbell Child Custody Lawyer
Helping Families With Child Custody and Visitation Issues in Campbell and Santa Clara County
Once you have children, they become the most important thing in your life. If you need to break up with your spouse or partner, the thought of not continuing to see your kids every day can seem unimaginable. But if you put in the effort with your co-parent to structure things right, it’s entirely possible to continue to be a meaningful presence in your child’s life and a positive guiding force for them. Your life and your children’s lives post-divorce can be more than okay, and your relationship with your kids can be fulfilling and emotionally healthy for all of you.
Our Campbell child custody lawyers at Hepner & Pagan, LLP advise you and represent you when it comes to child custody matters to make sure you get an end result that works for you and your family. We are your legal coach, your mediation support, and your advocate in the courtroom protecting the rights and best interests of you and your kids. For help with a divorce or other child custody matters in Santa Clara County, call Hepner & Pagan, LLP.
Child Custody in Your Child’s Best Interests
When child custody and parenting time is decided in California courts, the guiding principle for the judge is to make a decision that is in the child’s best interests. You probably know what your child’s best interests are, but your co-parent might have a different idea, and the courts follow a set of factors laid out in state law to say what a child’s best interests are.
First of all, if the parents can come together and decide on a custody and a parenting time schedule between them, and decide how they will share in parenting decisions and child-rearing, then that is the best approach of all and the one most favored by parent and child advocates and the courts. Through mediation, legal coaching, and full representation, our Campbell child custody lawyers help guide parents through the detailed process of coming up with a comprehensive and inclusive parenting plan and timesharing schedule. We can put your concepts into appropriate legal language or draft the entire document for you, or serve as your independent counsel to review any agreement another party has drawn up. Based on our years of experience as divorced parents and family law attorneys, we can advise you and help you understand what works and what doesn’t and guide you toward a workable agreement that fits your particular family’s needs. Once an appropriate agreement is made, it can be submitted to the court for approval and included in the final divorce decree.
Some divorcing parties simply don’t have the desire or ability to communicate effectively with one another, leaving the matter to the courts to do decide. In those cases, we give judges the information they need and advocate strongly for a result that meets your needs. California family law judges generally start with the premise that custody should be shared equally and both parents should have equal roles in deciding how to raise the children. However, the best interests of the child are what matters most, and courts can grant custody unequally or solely to one parent when convinced that is best for the kids. Here are some of the main factors the court will consider:
- The age of the child – Children who are very young or entering puberty might fare better with one parent than the other. When children are considered mature enough to express a reasonable preference, their opinion might be given some weight as well.
- The child’s health needs – Does the child have extraordinary health needs that require extra care and attention, or that one parent is better equipped to deal with than the other?
- The child’s emotional ties to each parent – It’s not uncommon for a child to be more strongly attached to one parent than the other, particularly if one parent has already been absent from the child’s life for a significant period. A parent who does not already have a strong connection with the child is not likely to be given a large share of custodial time or a large role in parental decision-making.
- The child’s ties to home, school and community – Is one parent staying in the marital home? Is the other parent moving to a new town? Courts might consider whether it is better for the child to stay put or start fresh in a new setting.
- The child’s welfare and safety – Courts put a high value on any evidence of spousal or child abuse, domestic violence, drug use, or other factors that could put the child in a dangerous or unstable environment. Any evidence from outside sources such as the Department of Family and Children’s Services or law enforcement can be very influential to the court.
- Each parent’s abilities and parenting styles – Does the parent have the ability to raise the child in a stable home and enough time to give to the job of child-rearing, given the parent’s work schedule, other activities and relationships? How able and willing is the parent to communicate effectively with the other parent when it comes to parenting?
These factors can provide a reasonable guide to follow when you are working through custody issues with your child’s other parent or preparing for a court hearing. The child custody attorneys at Hepner & Pagan, LLP can help you work through these issues outside of court or gather the evidence needed to put forward a strong case in the courtroom. Child custody matters can be complicated and contentious. Our skilled and experienced family law attorneys can help you keep negotiations or litigation on a professional level geared toward resolving the issue in a way that meets your needs, your child’s needs, and works effectively for the whole family.
Reach Out to the Campbell Family Law Attorneys at Hepner & Pagan, LLP for Help With Child Custody in Santa Clara County
For help with child custody and other issues in your Santa Clara County divorce, call Hepner & Pagan, LLP in Campbell at 408-429-8336 to schedule a consultation with our dedicated team of Campbell child custody lawyers.