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Murrieta Child Custody Attorney

Navigating Child Custody Challenges in California

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When your future with your children is on the line, it is essential to have an attorney who listens, understands, and fights aggressively when necessary. Facing difficult custody decisions can take an emotional toll on all those involved.

With over 34 years of experience, our qualified Murrieta divorce lawyers at Penna Coker A Family Law Firm APLC can help guide you through all family law matters related to child custody cases and provide the legal support you need to protect your family's best interests.

Call Penna Coker, A Family Law Firm APLC, today at (951) 900-3342 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with our child custody attorney in Murrieta!

How Is Child Custody Decided in California?

Taking an issue to family court can present different potential outcomes. Depending on each family's situation, there are various ways to divide the time a child will spend with their parents. These can include sole custody or joint custody.

A judge's primary concern during a child custody hearing is the child's best interests. When determining the child's best interests, the judge should consider several factors that impact the child's well-being.

These factors may include:

  • The child's age
  • The child's health
  • The relationship of the child with each parent
  • The ability of each parent to care for the child
  • A parent's history of substance abuse
  • A history of family violence
  • The child's connection to his or her community
  • The child's preference
  • The parent's ability or willingness to foster the child's relationship with the other parent

Either parent can have sole custody of the child, or parents may be able to work out an agreement to divide custody and responsibility. It will be up to the judge to decide the best possible outcome for the custody arrangement based on the factors above; however, the decision is made based on the parenting plan that both parents have agreed upon.

What are the Different Types of Custody?

Child custody in California encompasses both legal and physical custody, and each can be awarded solely to one parent (sole custody) or shared between both parents (joint custody).

  • Legal custody: This refers to a parent with the authority to decide on the child's medical care, religion, education, extracurricular activities, travel, and any other basic needs the child may require.
  • Physical custody: This refers to the parent with whom the child will be living.

There are two distinctions in physical custody as well:

  • Joint physical custody: The child is living with both parents.
  • Sole physical custody: The child mostly lives with one parent and will have designated time to visit the other parent.

In some cases, the courts may grant "joint legal custody," which allows both parents to make important decisions on behalf of the child while the child still lies with one parent.

How Is Primary Custody Determined?

In your divorce petition, you must provide solid reasons for having primary custody in the best interests. Your plea to the courts must be convincing and based on facts. The courts will examine your relationship with your child closely, in addition to the relationship you share with siblings and any other adults living with you.

What Makes a Parent Unfit?

California family courts may deem a parent unfit if certain circumstances compromise the child's safety and well-being. Factors that may contribute to a finding of parental unfitness include:

  • Substance Abuse: Ongoing issues with drug or alcohol abuse can jeopardize a parent's ability to provide a safe and stable environment.
  • Domestic Violence: The history of domestic violence, whether directed towards the child or the other parent, is a significant concern for the court.
  • Neglect or Abuse: Evidence of neglect or abuse, whether physical, emotional, or psychological, can lead to a determination of unfitness.
  • Criminal Activity: Serious criminal activity, especially if it poses a risk to the child, may impact a parent's fitness.

At Penna Coker A Family Law Firm APLC, our child custody attorneys meticulously gather and present evidence relevant to parental fitness, ensuring your case is presented favorably.

Contact Our Murrieta Child Custody Attorney Today

You want the best for your children and to be treated fairly. Get the legal help to protect your rights and options from a firm dedicated to compassion and integrity.

At Penna Coker A Family Law Firm APLC, our family lawyers offer the help you need for your child custody case. We also offer mediation services for those who wish to reach an amicable resolution without involving the court. Our focus on family law makes us exceptionally qualified to assist you in matters of child custody.

Contact Penna Coker, A Family Law Firm APLC, today to schedule a meeting with our child custody lawyer in Murrieta!


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How We Fight for Your Family
  • Over 34 Years of Experience Exclusively in Family Law

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  • Compassionate & Dedicated Legal Representation

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