Ventura Child Custody Lawyers
Our Child Custody Attorneys in Encino & Ventura Put Your Children First
At Zahn Law Offices, APC, we understand that there is nothing more important to you than the well-being of your children, especially after divorce or legal separation. You should not have to undergo the pressure of a custody case without the security of seasoned representation in your corner.
Let Zahn Law Offices, APC join your team. Together, we can protect your children and their future.
Child Custody Laws in California
California law favors joint physical and legal custody if both parents are able and willing to work together. If they refuse to comply, the court is responsible for creating an alternative plan that prioritizes the children’s best interests.
The main factors considered by the judge at this time are:
- Whether either parent has a history of domestic violence
- Whether either parent has a habit of drug and/or alcohol abuse
- The age of the children
- The children’s wishes, if they are mature enough to have an informed preference
- The current nature and amount of contact each parent has with the children
- Which parent is more likely to encourage frequent visits with the other parent
Types of Custody Arrangements
There are two categories of custody that the court will address:
- Legal custody, or who has the right to make important decisions about the children’s welfare, such as education, medical care, and religious upbringing
- Physical custody, or where the children will live and who is responsible for their daily care
The judge can order joint or sole custody for either category. A joint physical custody ruling means the children will live with both parents as equally as possible according to a set schedule. Conversely, when one parent is given sole physical custody, the other will either have visitation rights or, in extreme cases of abuse or neglect, will be barred access to the children altogether.
What Do Judges Look for in Child Custody Cases?
In California, it is the goal of the legislature to establish orders which generally provide for close and continuous contact between both parents and the minor children. As a result, the default custody position for the courts is joint legal and physical custody with a timeshare as close to equal as possible. Realistically, many factors can move the needle in favor of one parent, resulting in a deviation from an equal timeshare and joint custody.
Reasons for Losing Custody of a Child
Those factors can include (but aren't limited to):
- Domestic violence issues
- Criminal charges
- Alcohol and drug abuse issues.
Parental Rights in California
A common question we receive is with regards to parental rights, particularly for spouses who are separated due to incarceration. Often, people come to me asking about terminating parental rights or what their rights are. They frequently confuse parental rights with custody. If the above person was incarcerated, his rights likely were not terminated, but rather the mother was granted sole legal and physical custody of the child.
Legal custody is decision making authority, while physical custody refers to where the child lives. As long as the child is a minor, then these are subject to modification. The termination of parental rights, on the other hand, is used as a first step towards adoption by another person or persons. The other common thing asked is if someone can give up their parental rights to terminate their support obligation. The general answer is no. Again, parental rights should only be terminated prior to someone adopting the child, as the State of California believes that the child should have the benefit and financial support of two parents.
Call A Child Custody Attorney in Ventura Today
At Zahn Law Offices, APC, we are fully prepared to walk through this process with you. Whether facilitating an amicable agreement with the other parent of your children or aggressively fighting a custody battle in court, our child custody lawyers in Ventura are here to meet your needs. When you have questions about family law for child custody, we can help you. We work on cases throughout Ventura County, Los Angeles County, Santa Barbara County, and across Southern California.
Our Legal Team Has 30+ Years of Combined Experience
Our Lawyers Have Been Named to Super Lawyers Rising Star List
We Offer Flexible, Affordable Payment Plans
We Provide Quality Legal Service at Reasonable Rates
“He made magic happen when No other attorney would even take the time to discuss my matter.”- Chris M.
“The Zahn law office is very professional and focuses on your needs. Custody and visitation was handled promptly.”- Angel M.
“Their office helped not only resolve the issue, but ensured the agreement was fair and in the best interest of my son.”- Mike P.