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Child Custody & Visitation

Folsom Child Custody Attorney

What are the Custody Laws in California?

Generally, California law encourages joint custody arrangements where both parents participate in the legal decision making regarding the child’s general welfare and both parents participate equally in raising their children. Courts generally strive to ensure that the child maintains frequent and continuing contact with both parents unless one parent is unfit. No preference is given to either gender and equality is granted to all types of parents.

Practically speaking, not all cases are identical and not all parents play an active role in parenting. Situations like this or situations where there are issues of abuse and/or neglect can play a significant role in the resulting custody and visitation orders.

Child custody is an extremely difficult matter for divorcing or separating parents to face. Parents naturally want to protect the best interests of their children. If you are dealing with custody and visitation issues, having orders that are not only specific and detailed will help to avoid confusion later.

Contact us at (916) 794-4576 to get started. We look forward to helping you through this difficult time.

Does It Matter Who Files for Custody First in California?

No, it does not matter who files for custody first in California. The judge will make a ruling solely on the best interests of the child. Child custody cases can be complex, so it is important that you obtain legal representation to help you through the process.

How is Child Custody Determined in California?

When determining visitation rights, the court does what is in the best interest of the child, and takes the following into consideration:

  • The age and health of the child
  • The emotional ties between the parent and child
  • The ability of the parents to care for the child
  • Any history of family violence or substance abuse
  • The child’s ties to school, home, and community

Courts may not deny visitation rights based on the parent’s sex, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, disability, or marital status. However, custody and visitation rights may be denied to either parent if it is determined that contact with either parent would harm the children.

What Are My Rights as a Father in California?

By default, mothers and fathers have equal rights to custody in California. Unless there is something that makes one of the parents unfit for custody, one parent is not preferred over the other. In the most ideal case, the parents would have a joint custody arrangement. However, the judge will take many factors into considering and make a ruling in favor of the child’s best interests. It used to be that the mother was typically favored in these rulings, but more and more, fathers are being given custody.

What is an Unfit Parent in California?

There are several factors that could prove that a parent is unfit for child custody in California, keep in mind that these must be proven with evidence to hold weight in court, some of the most obvious factors include:

  • Child abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Substance abuse
  • Mental illness
  • Other factors the judge might consider are the parent’s involvement in the child’s life, the parent’s ability to meet the child’s needs, the child’s feelings, age-appropriate parenting, the parent’s ability to handle conflict.

Types of Custody Orders

In California, there are two types of child custody:

  • Legal custody – This determines who makes important decisions for the children, including health care, education, and welfare.
  • Physical custody – This determines who the child lives with.

Both types of the above custody can be either joint or sole:

  • With joint legal custody, both parents have the right to make decisions about aspects of the children’s lives, but they do not have to agree on every decision.
  • With sole legal custody, only one parent has the right to make decisions about the aspects of the children’s lives.
  • With joint physical custody, children split their time between parents, with one parent typically having slightly more time with the children, since it is difficult to split the time exactly in half.
  • With sole physical custody, the children reside with one of the parents, and the other parent is typically granted visitation rights.

Who Has Custody of a Child When There is No Court Order in California?

Without a court order, parents have equal rights to their children in California. This means that both parents have the legal right to decide about the child's upbringing, including where the child lives, what school the child attends, and what medical care the child receives.

However, just because both parents have equal rights does not mean they have equal time with the child. The parents can decide on a parenting plan that gives equal time to each parent with the child, or they can agree on a different arrangement. If the parents cannot agree on a parenting plan, the judge will decide what is in the child's best interest and make a ruling.

The factors that the court will consider when making a custody decision include:

  • The child's relationship with each parent
  • The parent's ability to provide for the child's physical and emotional needs
  • The parent's willingness to cooperate in raising the child
  • The child's age and maturity
  • The child's choice, if old enough to express one

It is crucial to speak with our custody attorney to discuss your options for custody. Our attorney can help you understand your lawful rights and options and represent you in a Folsom court if necessary.

Types of Visitation Orders

Visitation orders vary depending on what is in the best interest of all parties involved. There are different types of visitation, including:

  • Visitation according to a schedule – A visitation schedule helps avoid conflicts and confusion. Visitation schedules can include holidays, special occasions, and vacations.
  • Reasonable visitation – This type of order does not necessarily have details as to when the children will live with each parent, but it works well if each parent communicates and can be flexible.
  • Supervised visitation – This type of order occurs when the children’s safety and well-being require that visits with one parent be supervised by the other parent, another adult, or a professional agency.
  • No visitation – This happens when visiting the parent, even with supervision, would be physically or emotionally harmful to the children.

Protecting Your Child's Best Interests

When it comes to child custody matters, the primary focus should always be on the best interests of the child. Our experienced Folsom child custody attorney understands the sensitive nature of these cases and is committed to helping you navigate the legal process with compassion and expertise.

Some ways we can help protect your child's best interests include:

  • Advocating for fair custody arrangements
  • Ensuring visitation rights are upheld
  • Addressing concerns of parental fitness
  • Resolving disputes amicably through mediation
  • Providing guidance on co-parenting agreements

At Law Office of Tiffany L. Andrews, P.C., we are dedicated to advocating for the well-being of your child and finding solutions that promote a healthy and stable environment for them.

Retain the Law Office of Tiffany L. Andrews, P.C.

Our child custody lawyers in Folsom can help you resolve custody or visitation disputes and ensure that parenting plans and visitation schedules reflect your child’s best interests while protecting your rights. If you find yourself involved in a child custody dispute, it can help to work with a Folsom custody attorney who specializes in child welfare law. Attorney Tiffany L. Andrews and her team offer high-quality representation and maintain a focus on protecting your child’s well-being while keeping your best interests in mind. Ultimately, our goal is to reach a resolution that is favorable, fair, and safe for your child.

Request a consultation by calling (916) 794-4576 today.

Helpful Resources

  • “Rock-star Attorney!!”
    I spoke with Tiffany on the phone for a short 15 consult and she helped me very much with my case. She was able to ask some great questions and provide great advice! Thank you very much :)
    - Celeste
  • “I feel blessed to have Ms. Andrews on my side, and I highly recommend her services!”

    After the initial shock of being served divorce papers, I began interviewing attorneys to help me with the legal proceedings. The first couple of attorneys focused on how to address the support and division of property issues included in the papers I was served, without really asking me about my interests in this matter.

    After meeting with Ms. Andrews, and ever since that initial interview and consultation, I always felt she had my best interests in mind. She immediately explained what I needed to file and when what to expect going forward and then asked me about my interests. Wow! She was exactly the kind of attorney I was looking for to represent me.

    She was always responsive to my questions and requests, no matter how basic, and got back to me in a timely manner… at times outside normal work hours. But, the biggest and most pleasant surprise to me was when she began educating and guiding me through every step in order to achieve my interests and goals -– mainly, my number one priority and “my everything” in this whole process: to retain shared custody and visitation rights with my children. Her guidance and recommendations put me at ease and really helped put my children first.

    Her knowledge, honesty, and dedication through numerous and unexpected court hearings involving custody and visitation issues not only resulted in the resolution of such issues in a competent and efficient manner but a resolution that Ms. Andrews knew I wanted.

    Not only is Ms. Andrews reliable, helpful and an overall amazing attorney, her office staff is also very courteous, professional and efficient in keeping me apprised of what was needed and the status of the case. Thank you so much, Ms. Andrews… and staff!!

    - Carlos
  • “Very Knowledgeable Attorney”
    I'm the father in the middle of a dependency juvenile hearing. Tiffany Andrews is an upfront, honest and sincere attorney with knowledge in this area that surpasses any other attorney I've consulted with. She was able to educate me and inform me of the different directions my case could go. She gives great advice, something that not all attorneys give, and gives me the facts of what she sees, not sugar coating it. If you're looking for a caring and dedicated family law attorney, I highly recommend Tiffany Andrews.
    - Vincent
  • “Amazing Family Law Attorney!”
    I would strongly recommend Mrs. Andrews for any family law issues. She was my attorney for over a year. In that time she was focused and diligent. Not once did any paperwork get rejected for clerical errors. Mrs. Andrews worked tirelessly and made it a point to conduct my case in the most cost-effective manner possible for me.
    - Chad
  • “Very Helpful and Knowledgeable”
    Tiffany gave me practical advice concerning a child welfare case in Solana County, CA. She understands California dependency law and was available to answer my question on short notice. I highly recommend her.
    - Christopher
  • “Professionalism and Expertise”
    Mende Romaniak has again shown both professionalism and expertise as she helped navigate me through gaining custody of my daughter. Through her hard work and concise detailing of my case not only was she able to secure sole physical custody but also sole legal custody as well. I was told more than once that gaining custody as a father is a tall order but Mende and the Law office of Tiffany Andrews came through with flying colors. I highly recommend.
    - Mike
  • “Great Law Firm.”
    Great Law Firm. They were professional and very caring to my situation. Would highly recommend this Law Firm.
    - Gabriel
  • “Amazing Family Law Attorney!!”
    Tiffany did an amazing job handling my case, most of which she did long distance as I relocated to another state across the country soon after she was hired. I just couldn't have gotten through that time in my life without her. She's extremely knowledgeable and relatable. She's truly gifted at what she does and I'd recommend her to anyone with Family Law issues.
    - Sandrell
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  • 2015 Certified Family Law Specialist, State Bar of CA, Board of Legal Specialization
  • 2011 Certified Welfare Law Specialist by NACC, Accredited by the CA State Bar Board of Legal Specialization
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