Custody Child & Visitation

Child Custody & Visitation Lawyers in San Diego

Determining fair child custody, visitation, and support agreements is often one of divorce’s most taxing and complicated aspects. However, handling these matters carefully is essential, as your choices could impact your children’s lives daily and affect your family’s relationships.

For assistance resolving these legal matters from attorneys with more than a decade of experience practicing family law, turn to Shorb & Connor. We are a renowned firm that focuses on developing and implementing legal strategies that aim to preserve our clients’ interests and achieve the best possible case outcomes. 

What kind of custody arrangement do you believe you and your children deserve? Do you need support to make certain your children receive everything they deserve, from quality education to medical care? Let us know in a complimentary strategy session with one of our San Diego child custody and visitation lawyers. 

Schedule your initial meeting at Shorb & Connor by calling (619) 330-0938 or contacting us online. Our services are available to those in San Diego, Escondido, Poway, Chula Vista, and the surrounding areas. 

Types of Child Custody 

California law defines custody of children as physical and legal. Having physical custody of a child means that they live with you. On the other hand, legal custody is the right to make decisions concerning a child’s welfare, upbringing, and well-being.

Parents may share or solely possess these two types of custody. Generally, if one parent has sole physical custody, the co-parent will have visitation rights. 

What Is a Parenting Plan?

Parenting plans are legal documents that co-parents create to establish custody and visitation rights and more. To avoid conflicts and set clear guidelines, these plans are often extensive and provide numerous provisions for handling a child’s upbringing. 

Your parenting plan may include information that solidifies the following and more:

  • Who has sole/joint physical and legal custody 
  • When and how often either parent gets to spend time with a child or children
  • What communication methods will be used for updates, emergencies, and other important matters 
  • Who is responsible for selecting and paying for childcare
  • What school the child or children will attend
  • What doctors or dentists will be the child or children’s care providers

Our state’s courts encourage parents to create mutually agreeable parenting plans on their own. However, if parents cannot agree, they must participate in mediation to resolve issues. Mediation is only useful when both parents are willing to negotiate. When this is not the case, litigation may be necessary, and a judge will determine what custody and visitation arrangement is in a child’s best interests. 

How California Determines Child Support

The state’s courts use a formula to determine what amount of child support is appropriate. 

This formula accounts for:

  • Each parent’s income
  • Mandatory payroll deductions (health insurance, retirement deductions, union dues, etc.)
  • Available income tax deductions and tax filing status
  • Healthcare expenses for the child(ren)
  • The number of children receiving support
  • The amount of time each parent spends with the child(ren)
  • Childcare costs for each child
  • Any child’s special needs

Much like the parenting plan, California gives parents the opportunity to determine a child support arrangement that suits their needs. If this is not possible, courts will take action. Whether you are seeking proper support for your loved ones or want to protect yourself from an unfair agreement, our San Diego child support lawyers are here to help you.  

Can You Alter Child Custody & Other Court Orders?

It is possible to alter child custody, visitation, and support orders. California recognizes that families evolve, and previous agreements may not fulfill present needs. To change an existing agreement, the state’s courts must be persuaded that a change in circumstances necessitates the modification. Job losses, a parent moving, instances of abuse and neglect, and other events could all be grounds for altering a child custody, visitation, or support arrangement. 

Determining Child Custody in San Diego

When determining child custody in San Diego, courts prioritize the best interests of the child. This guides the evaluation of various factors to ensure a stable, nurturing environment. These factors include:

  • Child's Health, Safety, and Welfare: The court examines the child's physical and emotional well-being. Any history of abuse, neglect, or substance abuse by either parent is critically assessed.
  • Parent-Child Relationship: The bond between each parent and the child is scrutinized. Courts prefer to maintain continuity and stability in the child's life, favoring arrangements that support strong, positive relationships with both parents.
  • Parental Responsibilities: The willingness and ability of each parent to care for the child are vital. This includes providing a stable home, meeting the child's educational and medical needs, and being actively involved in the child's life.
  • Co-Parenting Skills: Courts evaluate the parents' ability to cooperate and communicate effectively. A parent's willingness to support the child's relationship with the other parent is also considered.
  • Child's Preferences: Depending on the child's age and maturity, their preferences may be taken into account. However, the child's wishes do not solely determine the outcome.
  • Domestic Violence and Abuse: Any history of domestic violence or abuse is a significant factor. The court takes measures to protect the child from any form of harm.
  • Stability and Continuity: The need for a stable home environment and continuity in the child's life is crucial. Courts aim to minimize disruptions to the child's routine, education, and community ties.
  • Mental and Physical Health: The mental and physical health of both parents is assessed to ensure they are capable of meeting the child's needs.

By considering these factors, San Diego courts strive to make custody decisions that foster the child's overall well-being and development.

Addressing Non-Compliance with Custody or Visitation Orders

When a parent does not adhere to a custody or visitation order, it can create significant stress and complications. San Diego courts take violations of custody orders seriously. Here are a few steps you should consider taking:

  • Documenting Violations: It’s crucial to document each instance of non-compliance meticulously. Keep a detailed record of dates, times, and descriptions of how the other parent failed to follow the order.
  • Attempting Resolution: Before seeking court intervention, try to resolve the issue amicably with the other parent. Mediation can be a helpful avenue for reaching a mutual agreement without escalating the conflict.
  • Filing a Contempt Motion: If informal efforts fail, you can file a motion for contempt with the court. Contempt proceedings involve proving that the other parent willfully disobeyed the court order. Consequences for contempt may include fines, community service, or even jail time.
  • Requesting Modification: In some cases, a modification of the custody or visitation order might be necessary. If the non-compliance is persistent and significantly impacts the child's welfare, the court may alter the existing order to better serve the child's needs.
  • Enforcement Actions: The court has the authority to enforce custody and visitation orders through various means. This can include makeup visitation time for missed visits or changing the custody arrangement to ensure compliance.
  • Seeking Legal Assistance: Navigating non-compliance issues can be complex and emotionally draining. Consulting with a skilled child custody lawyer can provide guidance and representation to protect your rights and your child's best interests.

San Diego courts emphasize the importance of following custody and visitation orders to maintain stability and predictability in the child's life. Parents are encouraged to work cooperatively and seek legal recourse when necessary to ensure compliance and uphold the child's well-being.

Why Choose Shorb & Connor?

Your Legal Challenges, Our Commitment
  • Compassionate Representation

    Our family law firm is dedicated to providing compassionate support. We understand that family law matters are deeply personal, and we are here to listen and offer empathetic guidance every step of the way.

  • Strategic Focus
    We offer a comprehensive strategy for your case, not just a checklist of deadlines and steps. Our goal is to provide a clear, actionable roadmap that aligns with your objectives and leads to the best possible outcomes.
  • Work Directly With Your Attorney
    From the moment you contact us, you will speak directly with an attorney. This ensures that your concerns are immediately addressed by a knowledgeable professional, setting the stage for effective representation.
  • Personalized Goal Setting
    We believe in a collaborative process. By sitting down with you, we identify your objectives and outline a clear plan and strategy to achieve them, providing you with a sense of direction and control.
  • Free Consultations
    Initial consultations are free of charge, providing an opportunity to discuss your case with an attorney without financial obligation.
  • Holistic Approach to Family Law
    We understand the myriad of factors that can impact your case and have the experience to address them all comprehensively.

Shorb & Connor: Diligent Advocates for the Best Interests of Families 

Our firm can be a resource for you as you seek to establish a parenting plan and child support agreement that you and your child(ren) deserve. Since 2011, we have partnered with countless families, developing tailored strategies to achieve their goals. Our San Diego child custody and visitation lawyers strive to reach amicable agreements but are unafraid to go to court when necessary. 

For more information about what we can offer, call (619) 330-0938 or send us a message online.

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