During a divorce or separation, couples will often have one of their toughest battles over custody of their children. In many instances, both parents will want to remain in the child’s life, and determining who gets time with the child and how much can often be a sticking point. If you want to protect your rights as a parent, you must hire a Temecula child custody lawyer to represent you in court and advocate for you.
At Najera Law Group, APC, we can help with all your family law needs. E. Steve Najera has worked in the legal field for 20 years and can leverage that experience to help you with any family law matter. Whether you are looking to set the initial terms of your divorce or modify your order down the line, we can help.
Determining child custody after a divorce is not an exact science, and judges will have latitude on how to decide what the agreement looks like. When determining custody, judges will look at several factors, including:
While many custody battles do end up in court for a judge to decide, it is possible to handle the creation of a custody agreement without going to a judge. You and your attorney can negotiate with your spouse about what a custody arrangement looks like, and if both parties agree, you can avoid a legal battle.
Only some situations are amenable to creating your own custody arrangement, so you should speak with your attorney to see what they believe is the right path forward for you.
Our lives constantly change, and changes in yours may necessitate making alterations to a custody arrangement. If you move, change your job, or find out the other parent committed an illegal act, you may be able to petition a judge to alter your custody arrangement. Your lawyer can advise you on how to go about changing your arrangement.
Custody battles are negotiations, and you’ll have a better chance at striking a fair deal if you have an attorney in your employ. Your attorney will advocate for you in court and during any preliminary negotiations or mediation to determine an acceptable setup for child custody.
If the other party employs an attorney, you are at a disadvantage if you forgo legal representation. Your lawyer will help you negotiate a deal or advocate for you in front of a judge and will insulate you from potentially accepting a bad agreement.
A family lawyer in California will cost around $350 for every billable hour. You’ll find this number may fluctuate greatly when shopping around for attorneys, as they can charge whatever they feel is appropriate based on their skill level, the nature of your case, where they live, and their office policies. A family attorney is worth the price, however, as they can help you set up a fair arrangement after a divorce.
You should always tell the truth during a custody hearing, as the other side will likely know if you’re lying, and it will impact your credibility. Avoid any emotional outbursts, profanity, or disregarding a judge’s orders. While the case may be full of emotions and tensions may run high, you should remain calm throughout your hearing.
While you should feel safe communicating with your ex during sanctioned negotiations or mediation sessions, you should avoid too much contact outside of official business. Do not speak to your ex on the phone and insist on written communication. You should also avoid using your child as a messenger.
In California, judges will attempt to be impartial and not favor one parent over another when determining custody. Instead of gender, they will look at the income level of both parents, living conditions, history of abuse, and any other factors that may impact their decision.
Custody battles can be one of the most difficult parts of a divorce and can cause high tensions between everyone involved. With two sides who want different outcomes, you’ll want to employ a lawyer to help you through the process and secure an acceptable outcome.
At Najera Law Group, APC, we can help with all your family law needs in Temecula. Contact us today for a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.