San Bernardino Child Custody Attorney
When you are going through a separation or divorce and you need to reach a child custody agreement with the other parent of your child(ren), you simply may not know where to begin. It's common for parents in such situations to have a difficult time moving beyond their emotions to resolve child custody issues amicably. However, it is highly important for both parents to work together and act rationally, putting their child(ren)'s best interests first.
While it is true that parental rights are guaranteed under the Federal Constitution and parents have a wide discretion when it comes to the rearing of their child(ren), these rights do not provide for parents to be completely free to do as they wish with respect to exactly with whom the child(ren) will live or how they are raised. Additionally, it is crucial for parents to realize that withholding contact from one parent without just cause can create severe legal problems as well as emotional distress for the child(ren).
The Child Custody Process
In child custody matters, California judges are encouraged to follow a 'joint custody' law that allows both parents to have legal custody of their child(ren). This means that both parents have the right to make decisions regarding the raising of their child(ren), including with regard to educational and religious training as well as medical treatment. In making child custody rulings and awards, California courts are required to determine what is in the "best interests" of the child(ren). The guiding principle of "best interests" is broad and judges have a wide discretion in determining what is and is not in the child(ren)'s best interests.
Child custody laws consist of many complex concepts and courts will look at which parent has the best ability to provide for the day-to-day needs of the child, while at the same time considering the history of custodial responsibilities in this regard. Additionally, courts look at which parent is the most likely to promote a healthy relationship with the other parent. In some instances, courts will consider testimony of expert witnesses such as mental health care professionals and other parties who can contribute relevant facts.
When making decisions in difficult and contentious custody cases, often courts will even appoint an attorney to represent the child(ren). This attorney is known as the 'Guardian ad litem'. The Guardian ad litem is responsible for conducting an independent investigation and presenting all of the facts to the court. The Guardian ad litem's primary role is to represent the child(ren)'s best interests before the court. Depending upon a child's age, the child is sometimes given an opportunity to state with whom he or she wishes primarily to live with. At the conclusion of the hearing, the court will rule on all of the issues presented and enter an order. Once a child custody order is entered, both parents must comply with all it contains. Because California law allows judges to have such a broad discretion in child custody matters, there is little chance of getting an order appealed.
Get Help From San Bernardino Child Custody Attorney Michael R. Young
During such a difficult and emotional time, it is important that parents seek the help of a competent San Bernardino child custody attorney as soon as possible to insure that the best interests of their child(ren) are protected. At the San Bernardino child custody attorney office of Michael R. Young, we will skillfully guide you through the child custody process in a compassionate manner. As a leading San Bernardino child custody lawyer, Michael R. Young will review all of your options and help you formulate a plan that will serve the best interests of you and your child(ren).
San Bernardino child custody lawyer Michael R. Young provides solid, quality legal representation to those involved in child custody disputes. He has a built a reputation for excellence and is a formidable opponent in the courtroom. Whether you are already abiding by a child custody and visitation plan or trying to make arrangements for one, contact the San Bernardino child custody lawyer office of Michael R. Young today!
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