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Child Custody

Riverside Child Custody Attorney Represents Divorce Clients

California law firm helps resolve disputes over custody and visitation

One of the most emotional parts of the divorce process is the determination of child custody. Child custody disputes typically arise when parents separate or divorce, but they may also come up in situations when parents have never been married. Attorney Julie Hill at the Law Offices of Julie M. Hill has extensive experience representing all sides in custody and visitation disputes. Our Riverside, California firm helps parents work together to agree on custody-sharing arrangements, but when necessary, we fight for your rights in court. We always keep the best interests of our clients and their children in mind.

Understanding types of custody under California law

California divorce laws enable either parent to have custody. The law does not state a preference for any particular type of custody in cases where parents don’t agree. Possible custody arrangements include:

  • Joint legal custody. This arrangement allows parents to share in the major decisions that affect a child’s well-being. Issues of religious upbringing and medical treatment are left to both parents under this type of custody award or agreement.
  • Joint physical custody. Joint custody means that the child spends at least some time with each parent. In many cases, a child will spend much more time with one parent than the other. We help parents work together to figure out the details of joint custody so that they can present a parenting plan to the court for approval.
  • Sole custody. Sometimes one parent will get total legal and physical custody over a child. In these cases, supervised or unsupervised visitation may be options.

It is generally advisable for parents to work together to agree on the details of a joint custody arrangement. When no custody agreement between spouses exists, the court determines custody.

Court determinations of child custody

When a court is forced to determine child custody, it will make that determination based on a variety of factors. A judge will not take either parent’s gender into account, but will instead base the decision on a child’s health, safety and welfare. Judges tend to favor stability and may want to keep children in their own home if possible. This can work against a parent who has moved out during the divorce process. A court will also consider whether the child would benefit from continuing frequent contact with each parent. If a child is old enough, a court may also consider that child’s preference. The court will use the same factors to determine visitation, unless the parents agree on a visitation plan. Our firm’s divorce lawyer helps mothers and fathers pursue optimal custody arrangements.

Using mediation to solve custody disputes

When parents are unable to resolve custody disputes on their own, a court may recommend or order mediation. Mediation puts a trained negotiator in between the parents in an attempt to reach an optimal result through informal discussion and questioning.

Contact us for help with your California custody dispute

Child custody disputes can be resolved more easily with the help of a determined and compassionate attorney. At the Law Offices of Julie M. Hill, our legal team works with parents in the Inland Empire area to create parenting plans. Attorney Julie Hill is also an experienced litigator who represents the interests of clients in court. Call our Riverside office at 888-860-6519 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.