- Who gets custody of the children?
- Where will the children live?
- How much time will the children spend with each parent?
- Can one parent move out of state with the children?
Questions regarding custody and visitation arise during divorce, dissolution of a domestic partnership, when never-married parents part ways, or when a child is born to parents who do not live together.
Answering these important questions can be emotionally and financially draining, but with skillful legal help, a custody agreement and parenting plan can often be reached that promotes the best interest of the child while protecting the rights of parents.
At the law firm of Bennett & Erdman , we strive to help our clients arrive at a solution regarding child custody issues without resorting to litigation. We believe that parents are in a far better position to know what is best for their child than a judge who does not have the background or the time to understand the child's situation or needs.
With two Certified Family Law Specialists* at our firm, and nearly 30 years of family law experience, we can assist you in arriving at a child custody and parenting time agreement through negotiations, in mediation or in family court.
Contact Us Today
Learn more about California child custody, visitation and paternity law and how the law office of Bennett & Erdman can help you protect your most important relationship - that of a parent and a child. To talk with a Los Angeles child custody attorney who is also a Certified Family Law Specialist, call 1-877-820-6534. Alternatively, you can contact us online and a member of our firm will respond quickly.
Modifying a Child Custody and Visitation Agreement
As time goes by, you may find that your initial child custody order no longer fits the needs of your child or your family. Situations change. A parent may need to move to another town because of a job offer or remarriage. The opportunity to enroll a child in a better school district may make a changed living situation more attractive. A teenaged child may express a strong desire to have more time with one parent or the other. A parent may seek full custody and supervised visitation because a child was endangered or neglected in the other parent's home.
In order to modify a child custody order, parents will need to take their case back to court. The parent requesting the change will need to prove that it is in the best interest of the child. All of the above situations warrant having good legal counsel on your side to help with a child custody modification.
Parentage and Paternity
Paternity suits can be initiated by a birth mother to establish parentage and obtain a court order for child support and such suits may be opposed by the purported father because he denies parentage. A biological father may also bring suit to establish his parentage in order to obtain visitation or custody of his child.
A paternity suit can also establish the parental rights and responsibilities of a non-biological father. For example, a father may be presumed to be the legal parent of a child born to his wife, or of a child he accepted into his home and for whom he assumed the role of a parent. This is referred to as a "de facto" parent relationship.
In California, each of the grounds for establishing paternity may be applied to establish parentage of a second mother or father for a child born of a same-sex couple.
In all of these situations, Bennett & Erdman can provide legal counsel for a parent or purported parent.
*Certification by the California Board of Legal Specialization.