Child Custody

Protect Your Relationship With Your Kids

Finding the Right Arrangements for Your Family

Worries over custody cause incredible amounts of stress in the divorce process, and the concerns are just as problematic for couples who never married. At Holstrom, Block & Parke, APLC, we know how much your relationship with your child means to you, and we are committed to protecting that relationship. The right road to that goal will look different in every situation, so we take an individualized approach, considering how the details impact the process of developing a custody arrangement as well as the specifics of the plans that result. Courts in California focus on meeting the best interests of your child, and we do too, but work to show how your desired outcome meets those interests. We can help you develop the right parenting plan whether working through a collaborative process such as mediation or a contentious process like traditional litigation. Our team puts over 300 years of collective experience to work for you to establish custody arrangements to meet your needs.

Solutions in the Conference Room and the Courtroom

As a parent, you have a choice when it comes to the process of developing a plan for custody. Your attorney can work to negotiate a custom plan designed around your particular situation. When parents develop a parenting plan outside of court, judges are likely to approve unless the plan clearly does not serve the child’s best interests. Creating your plan puts you in control and provides solutions that fit the details of your life. The process requires a certain degree of cooperation, but it does not necessarily require parents to work directly with each other. Attorneys can negotiate the arrangements based on input from each parent and develop custody plans that are mutually satisfactory. If one parent refuses to compromise or has an unrealistic understanding of the law or circumstances, our team knows how to advocate effectively in court. We can demonstrate why your goals for custody serve the child’s best interests. Whether custody is decided in the conference room or the courtroom, we work to insulate your child from the effects of harmful conflict and endeavor to keep your concerns private.

Physical and Legal Custody

The law considers custody of two different types of custody. Legal custody refers to a parent’s authority to make decisions about a child’s life. This includes decisions affecting medical care, education, religion, mental health needs, and other issues. Physical custody refers to the living arrangements for the child. Both types of custody can be shared between parents or awarded solely to one parent. Even when parents share physical custody, as a practical matter, the child will still probably spend more time with one parent than the other. The parent who the child lives with most is sometimes called the primary custodial parent. The time allocated to each parent for physical custody can have an impact on child support obligations. A parenting plan is the overall collection of orders concerning custody and visitation schedules. A thorough parenting plan should make it clear when the child will see each parent and when the child will be staying in the home of each parent.

Visitation and Parenting Time

When one parent has sole physical custody, the other parent usually has visitation rights, also referred to as parenting time. California law provides for four types of parenting time orders:
  • Scheduled parenting time orders establish set dates and times that the child will be with each parent. The schedule may address holidays, special occasions, and vacations.
  • Orders for reasonable parenting time are open-ended. This type of order allows parents flexibility to establish their own arrangements. While this works for parents who communicate well, the lack of set schedule causes conflict for some families.
  • Supervised parenting time orders require visits to be supervised by an adult or a professional agency. Courts order that parenting time be supervised when there is a concern for the physical or emotional wellbeing of the child.
  • Orders for no visitation are issued when the court determines that any time spent with a parent, even under supervision, poses too great a risk of physical or emotional harm
Parents may ask the court for particular custody and visitation arrangements, but the court considers the child’s interests over the parents preferences. We work to help parents understand and formulate goals that align with those interests to best serve the family going forward.

Let Holstrom, Block and Parke Help You Establish or Modify Your Custody Order

It’s important to establish the right custody orders for your family, but remember that as circumstances change, your orders can be adjusted to meet evolving needs. Our Certified Family Law Specialists and associates are prepared to work for the right arrangements for your family and protect your interest throughout the process. To discuss your custody goals and process for achieving those goals, we invite you to schedule a confidential consultation.
In every case, legal and physical custody must both be determined:
  • Legal custody deals with each parent’s authority to make decisions about the child’s care and upbringing, including education, religion, medical care, and more.
  • Physical custody deals with where the child will live, how many overnights each parent will have, and other issues. In some cases, the terms of the custody agreement can impact the final child support obligations.

Should your case be brought before a judge, it is important to understand what factors can influence his or her decision. Ultimately, the number one concern of the judge will be the child’s best interests.

Get the Legal Support You Need

Our Southern California child support lawyers are dedicated to helping families with children navigate the emotionally-charged process of determining child custody. With ten Certified Family Law Specialists and a knowledgeable and diverse team of associate attorneys, you can find reliable advocacy at Holstrom, Block & Parke, a Professional Law Corporation.