Child Custody & Visitation

Los Angeles Custody and Visitation Attorney

Questions about child custody and visitation arise in divorce and dissolution of marriage as well as when establishing paternity/parentage. Often, the final outcome of a child custody hearing will be greatly influenced by what happened earlier in the case — during the period of separation. It is critical to manage a case correctly from the outset.

At the Nathans Family Law APC, we protect the rights and relationships of mothers, fathers and children. Because of his skill and 25 years of experience in this area, Mr. Nathans is appointed by California family courts to represent children in contested divorce and contested child custody cases.

We care about children and their families and work hard to ensure that parents find ways to work together for the best interest of their children. Contact our Los Angeles law office to schedule an initial FREE consultation. We can assist you with every aspect of your child custody and visitation matter, as well as answer questions about California child support and grandparents' rights to visitation.

There are two types of custody:

  1. Legal custody (California Family Code § 3003) is usually shared by both parents even if the children live primarily with one parent. It refers to the ability to make decisions concerning the health, education and welfare of a minor child. There are times when one parent is awarded sole legal custody.
  2. Physical custody (California Family Code § 3004) refers to the actual living arrangement of a child. Often, one parent has primary physical custody - the child resides with and is under that parent's supervision most of the time - while the other parent has visitation rights. If the child resides for significant amounts of time in both parents' respective homes, both parents have joint physical custody.

The Best Interests of the Child

The legal standard used by the Los Angeles family court to determine child custody and visitation orders is in the best interest of the child. When determining what is in the best interest of a child during your divorce or separation, California custody law gives a court a lot of discretion, and a judge can consider many different factors. Some of these factors include:

  1. A child's age and preferences
  2. Parental stability
  3. Parental criminal history
  4. Ability of the parent to care for the child
  5. History of child care

A court will use these factors, and others, to determine the timeshare between the parents.

Child Custody Arrangements

At the time of your divorce or parentage action, a child custody determination will be made. Based upon an assessment of each parent's capabilities and the needs of the child, a child custody order will establish who will have legal custody (decision-making authority) and physical custody (who has physical responsibility for the child's care). Various arrangements are possible, including sole physical custody and sole legal custody, joint physical and joint legal custody.

Throughout the proceedings, Mr. Nathans' role as your child custody lawyer is to develop a clear and compelling case to highlight your capabilities as a parent. Our firm can also help you access expert resources when needed to build a strong case for custody and/or visitation.

Child Visitation and Parenting Plans
Child visitation and parenting plans must accommodate the needs of both parent and child. By taking the time to understand your unique family situation and your child's needs, we can help you secure a detailed parenting plan that minimizes the chance for conflicts and misunderstandings and focuses on the best interest of the child.

Modifications to Custody or Visitation
Modification of an existing custody order or visitation order is often needed to accommodate changing circumstances and a child's changing needs. If circumstances change at work or at home — injury, illness, a new job requires relocation, or it becomes clear that a former partner is an unfit parent — your existing child custody order or parenting plan may be unworkable.

Conciliation Court

The Superior Court of California provides a free mediation service for parents called the conciliation court. Our Los Angeles divorce lawyers can help you prepare for your conciliation court session so your child custody dispute can be settled.

Picking the Right Lawyer Is the First Step in Winning Your Case.

Contact our Los Angeles Family law office today to schedule an initial FREE consultation with an experienced child custody lawyer. If you think you will be in a custody battle, we provide compassionate and result-driven family law advocacy.

We want to help you.

Nathans Family Law APC is located in Los Angeles, California and serves clients in Los Angeles County, including Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Burbank, Culver City, Encino, Glendale, Hermosa Beach, Inglewood, Long Beach, Manhattan Beach, Pasadena, Redondo Beach, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Hollywood, North Hollywood, Norwalk, Pomona, San Fernando, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Torrance, Van Nuys, Westwood, South Bay, and El Segundo, CA.