Many parents prioritize their children over all else. Though this is generally a good thing, it can make child custody and visitation negotiations particularly emotional and challenging. Few parents want to sacrifice the precious time they get to spend with their children.
Whether you are facing a divorce or need to get an official custody agreement from the courts, it is essential to understand the basics of child custody negotiations before you begin the process. This can help you to better prepare for what will happen and give you the opportunity to make informed decisions about your children and their future.
No matter your circumstances, hiring a qualified family attorney can be very helpful for your child custody determination process. The custody attorneys at Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP are highly trained and here to support you throughout your child custody negotiations in Newport Beach, CA.
As you navigate custody negotiations, having an attorney with significant experience and a good track record in cases like yours can make all the difference. Our team at Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP, has been seeing clients for many years, making us an experienced option for your Newport Beach child custody claim. We have seen a variety of situations and circumstances, and we feel confident that we have the training to properly navigate your child custody case to a positive outcome.
We are ruthless in our pursuit of justice in the family law sector. We know how important family is for most people, so we put a significant amount of time, effort, and tenacity into each client. You can trust us during this vulnerable time in your life. We are here to help protect your interests and your future.
Look no further than our experienced attorneys if you are facing a California child custody case. Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP offers high-quality family law and child custody representation in Newport Beach.
Though many people understand the basic idea of child custody, it is more complicated than it seems. The law has strict rules and guidelines surrounding child custody agreements.
The law separates child custody into two categories: physical and legal. Physical custody is the day-to-day care and guardianship of the child. When most people think of child custody, they think of physical custody.
Legal custody refers to the ability to make decisions about the child’s lifestyle, healthcare, and other legal matters. Legal custody allows a parent to make decisions on behalf of their child.
Though many parents have both physical and legal custody, some do not. A parent may have some physical custody but no legal custody. It is also possible to have legal custody without having physical custody, though this is less common than the reverse.
Child custody negotiations deal with both types of custody. However, physical custody is the focus of these negotiations. Safety is the court’s top priority. The court focuses on developing a custody agreement that protects the child’s safety, serves the child’s interests, and ensures all their needs are met.
There are several different physical custody arrangements that the court may grant. They include the following:
The law aims to have both parents be equally responsible for their child’s upbringing, which makes shared custody the ideal situation. However, if one parent cannot properly care for the child, the court will not hesitate to reduce their rights or take them away altogether.
The court looks at a number of factors when they determine child custody. Though their priority is the child’s safety, many circumstances contribute to this. To ensure safety, the court will look at the following for each parent:
Through this process, the court aims to get a sense of whether a parent can provide a safe home for the child. If the child is old enough to form an independent opinion of their own, the court may also consider the child’s desires.
Child support negotiations are closely related to child custody agreements because they are another way that a parent can contribute to their child’s upbringing. If shared custody is not possible, the parent with less custody can make up their contribution in child support payments. The court determines these payments based on both parents’ incomes, custody contributions, and the child’s needs.
A parent can have shared custody and still be responsible for child support payments. This usually happens when one parent makes significantly more money than the other. The court aims to have the income percentage each parent contributes be approximately equal, meaning that an income difference can create a discrepancy in the percentage each parent contributes.
For example, if one parent makes $100,000 per year and the other parent makes $50,000 per year, and both parents contribute $10,000 annually to their child’s upbringing through housing, clothes, and food, the first parent contributes 10% of their income while the second is contributing 20%. To even out the percentage each parent contributes, the higher-earning parent may need to pay child support to the lower-earning parent.
As you negotiate child custody arrangements, the court looks at many factors of your life, as listed above. If you do not have a representation of your own, these factors may be taken out of context. Your child’s other parent’s attorney may also skew the facts of your life to make you seem like an unfit parent. In doing so, they aim to earn more custody and potential child support payments for their client.
Having an attorney of your own protects your rights as a parent. A lawyer can contextualize the facts of your life and ensure that your humanity comes across in court. In doing so, a lawyer increases your likelihood of earning custody.
With both your children and your finances at stake, hiring legal representation for your child custody negotiations is crucial.
A: It is difficult to say how much a lawyer will cost because all attorneys charge differently. M child custody attorneys charge hourly, but their average hourly rates range from $225 to $500 per hour. You may need to pay a retainer ranging from $3,000 to $5,000. When you begin to interview potential lawyers, be sure to discuss finances with them. This ensures that you can afford your attorney for the duration of your claim.
A: During child custody negotiations, a judge looks at several factors that may affect a child’s safety. These include a parent’s housing situation, social circle, their relationship to drugs and alcohol, and many other factors. When you have an attorney to represent you, it is much easier to put the facts of your life in context, giving you better grounds to create a child custody agreement that benefits you and your child.
A: No. 50/50 custody states require that each parent spend equal amounts of time with the child to fulfill the requirements for joint custody. California simply requires that each parent has significant time with their child to qualify as joint custody. This may mean four days per week at one parent’s home and three days at the other. The times do not need to be precisely equal for parents to have joint custody.
A: Yes. If circumstances change, family law modifications allow you to change your child custody agreement. Parents may ask the courts to modify their child custody agreement for a new school or extracurricular schedule for the child, a new income or job for one of the parents, completion of rehabilitation for a parent with addiction, and relocation.
Navigating child custody and visitation negotiations can be an emotional and challenging experience. Our team at Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP is here to help you with any family law issue you may face. To speak with our team of highly trained child custody attorneys, contact Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP.
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