Riverside Child Custody Attorney
The Law Offices of Joseph Torri grasps that nothing in the world can be more paramount to you than the happiness and welfare of your children. Parents should not have to weather the stresses of family law litigation without an experienced child custody lawyer that has your back. Please consider whether our divorce and paternity office is the right fit for your representation needs.
The State of California has laws supporting joint legal custody and joint physical custody when both parents are committed to working together and significant factors would not prevent a parent from exercising joint physical and legal custody. The court also makes joint legal and joint physical custody orders when the parents are not necessarily committed to working together on custody and visitation since judges have to ensure frequent and continuing contact to both parents when those orders would not be detrimental to the child. Courts regularly observe parents in court who think they know what is best for the children. However, when both parties are unable to reach a stipulation (agreement), judges will be forced to make court orders.
Courts consider several factors in determining child custody and visitation orders. Domestic violence is a paramount factor that can significantly impact a visitation schedule. The court will look to which parent is more likely to allow the other parent to encourage and foster frequent and continuing contact with the other parent. Children that are mature and old enough may have their wishes and preferences heard by the court. There are many ways to achieve that a child's preferences are heard, and one way is to appoint Minor's Counsel. Joseph Torri is on the Riverside Superior Court – Family Law Minor's Counsel List of Approved Attorneys. California Rules of Court Section 5.250 addresses children's participation and testimony in family court proceedings.
Rule 5.250 (a) covers Children's Participation stating, “This rule is intended to implement Family Code Section 3042. Children's participation in family law matters must be considered on a case-by-case basis. No statutory mandate, rule, or practice requires children to participate in court or prohibits them from doing so. When a child wishes to participate, the court should find a balance between protecting the child, the statutory duty to consider the wishes of and input from the child, and the probative value of the child's input while ensuring all parties' due process rights to challenge evidence relied upon by the court in making custody decisions.”
Rule 5.250 (c) covers guidelines for determining whether addressing the court is in the child's best interest stating, “When a child indicates that he or she wishes to address the court, the judicial officer must consider whether involving he child in the proceedings is in the child's best interest. If the child indicating an interest in addressing the court is 14 years old or older, the judicial officer must hear from that child unless the court makes a finding that addressing the court is not in the child's best interest and states the reasons on the record. In determining whether addressing the court is in the child's best interest, the judicial officer should consider the following: Whether the child is of sufficient age and capacity to reason to form an intelligent preference as to custody or visitation (parenting time); Whether the child is of sufficient age and capacity to understand the nature of testimony; Whether information has been presented indicating that the child may be at risk emotionally if he or she is permitted or denied the opportunity to address the court or that the child may benefit from addressing the court; Whether the subject areas about which the child is anticipated to address the court are relevant to the court's decision making process; and Whether any other factors weigh in favor of or against having the child address the court, taking into consideration the child's desire to do so.”
The court may consider other options if the court precludes calling the child as a witness. The child can participate in mediation under Family Code Section 3180. The court can appoint an evaluator or investigator under Family Code Section 3110 or Evidence Code Section 730. Testimony may also be taken from relevant witnesses. Child Custody Recommending Counselors may provide information to the court per Family Code Section 3183(a). Should a judge preclude calling the child as a witness, the court must require that the information be obtained by alternative means.
Parents with legal custody are able to make critical decisions about the children's health care, school decisions and welfare. Most court orders call for both parents having joint legal custody.
Parents with physical custody have a significant portion of time with the children and are responsible for their daily upbringing. Should the judge order joint physical custody, both parents will share as much equal time as possible. Parents with sole physical custody will have the children at all times except for the visitation time of the other parent.
Move-Away or Relocation with Children
Following a divorce or separation, it is not out of the ordinary for one of the parents to move away. The high-cost of housing can be a reason a parent is desirous to move and look for cheaper housing. Being closer to a family unit or obtaining a new job opportunity are common reasons parents seek to move. Parents may move away, but they must have the permission from the other parent or a judge to move with the children.
The court will look at a major factor in move-away cases, and that issue is whether a parent has sole custody. Parents objecting to the move-away of the parent with sole custody will have to show the detriment to the children. Parents with sole custody have a presumptive right to move-away with the child, subject to the other parent showing detriment. There are plenty of cases and arguments that need to be made that go beyond a discussion on a website. Therefore, representation by a Riverside Child Custody Lawyer is critical during these procedures.
The court will have to consider many factors and cases in the analysis of a move-away/relocation case. LaMusga factors will need to be considered by the court. The factors include: (1) The children's interest in stability and continuity in the custodial arrangement; (2) The distance of the move; (3) The age of the children; (4) The children's relationship with both parents; (5) The relationship between the parents including, but not limited to, their ability to communicate and cooperate effectively and their willingness to put the interests of the children above their individual interests; (6) The wishes of the children if they are mature enough for such an inquiry to be appropriate; (7) The reasons for the proposed move; and (8) The extent to which the parents currently are sharing custody.
The Law Offices of Joseph Torri is completely ready and able to guide you through this process. Whether we are assisting in drafting and negotiating a settlement with the other parent of your children or assertively battling a custody trial, we are here to represent the best interest of the children. Take the initial step to guard your children's future by calling our office to schedule your initial consultation.