San Francisco Child Custody Attorney
Law Firm Committed to Helping You Get the Results You Need
While divorce has the potential to be emotionally devastating, the need to establish a parenting plan can cause even more heartbreak among parents and other involved parties.
If you have a child at home when you are getting a divorce, you want to be aware that you will have a stable and meaningful connection with your child after the divorce and have a say in how they will continue to be raised. Your ex-spouse probably feels the same way.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is not uncommon for child custody to be the last thing that stands between feuding spouses and a finalized divorce.
When you choose Fenchel Family Law, you will have child custody attorney serving San Francisco County, in your corner who can advise you through tough child custody negotiations and provide a positive result for your kids.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for Child Custody?
You should hire a San Francisco child custody attorney for certain concerns in your cases. A lawyer handling guardianship provides legal counsel for circumstances that are challenging or involve any form of abuse.
It would be best to lawyer up for better outcomes in your custody and visitation arrangements.
As seasoned family law lawyers in San Francisco, the legal professionals at Fenchel Family Law PC understand this, which is why we always strive to formulate a parenting plan that is appropriate for your needs, as well as those of your kids.
Handling All Family Law Issues
Our seasoned counselors provide compassionate, dedicated legal representation, and we commit ourselves to your best interests above all else.
At Fenchel Family Law PC, our attorneys are equipped to handle matters such as, but not limited to:
- Custody arrangements (legal and physical)
- Modifications of guardianship and visitation
How Is Child Custody Determined in San Francisco?
Child custody and visitation orders are determined by a variety of factors, including specific family circumstances such as living arrangements, the income of each parent, and sometimes even the children’s expressed preference.
Ultimately, the county court weighs these (and other) factors in order to make a decision that is in their “best interests".
This process begins via a mediation session at Family Court Services in San Francisco, which is a requirement that must be fulfilled before any court custody and visitation orders can be issued.
Here, parents meet with a mediator who attempts to guide the two parties towards a mutually-agreeable arrangement.
Mediators also create a report which includes details of how the mediation session proceeded.
An experienced San Francisco custody attorney can counsel clients on factors that a judge will evaluate for arrangements that may persuade custody battles in one direction, or another.
What to Expect in Your Custody and Visitation Determination
In cases where it was not possible for both parties to resolve their dispute, the report also includes a formal recommendation which the courts utilize to help determine the finalized arrangements.
The process doesn’t always end here.
Unresolved disputes between parties can lead to additional, court-ordered evaluations. When trying to determine “best interests,” courts look for things such as stability and continuity, amongst other factors, although they also emphasize frequent contact and interaction with both parents.
A skilled child custody lawyer can help ensure that the court is scrutinizing your current and proposed parenting plans with a fair, unbiased lens, as well as navigate you through every step of mediation as you and your ex-spouse work together to hash out a plan that works for everyone.
Is CA a 50/50 Custody State?
California is a common 50/50 custody state. Typically, the state of California prefers children of both parents with 50/50 responsibility to divide their time by sharing joint physical custody and joint legal custody whenever possible.
Judges are required to follow an order of custody options, with the first preferred option being joint physical custody.
However, if the family’s situation calls for primary care being awarded to one parent, the judge will make this decision based on which parent can better provide for the child’s best interests.
How Far Can a Parent Move With Joint Custody?
Unless both parents agree to the move and modify their agreement accordingly, a relocating parent must receive approval from the court to move with the children if the new location is 50 miles away or farther.
What Makes a Parent Unfit for Custody of a Child in California
In California, a parent is considered unfit for custody is unable to provide the necessary needs for the child. This includes proper care, nurture, shelter, and healthy living environment to name a few. If you need more details, be sure to check in with your local child custody attorney.
What Places You At Risk of Losing Sole Legal Custody?
A few major reasons that could lead to loss of guardianship in California include:
A primary reason that causes parents to lose guardianship of their children is, not surprisingly, neglect.
California defines neglect as inaction that leads to the neglect of a child’s essential needs, including being properly fed and clothed, etc. Anyone tasked with looking after their well-being, including older relatives, can be accused of committing neglect.
This in turn can lead to the loss of guardianship.
- Alienation of the Other Parent
This might come as a surprise to many, but in California, actively alienating the child from a parent warrants the other parent to initiate legal action in response to this alienation.
It is worth noting that effectively proving alienation is not always a simple task, which is where the assistance of a family law attorney comes into play.
- Fake Allegations Involving Abuse
Any type of fake allegation is heavily frowned upon in California, and the courts will not hesitate to take action if any false accusations of neglect or abuse come to light, either during the initial legal stand-off or after guardianship and visitation arrangements have been sorted out.
Anyone who is found guilty of making false allegations of any kind is at risk of losing their little ones.
At Fenchel Family Law, we understand your importance in your child and future. Our child custody lawyers serving San Francisco work to help our clients reach their custody goals — and to allow them to enjoy a rich and meaningful relationship with their child.
Get started on your case today. Call Fenchel Family Law PC at (415) 650-1112 and schedule your consultation with our family lawyers serving San Francisco County.
We Help You Take Your Life Back
We empower our clients to take their lives back as they navigate parenthood marriage, & divorce toward more vibrant futures.
No case is the same. We take the time to listen to our clients and really understand their goals and the future they are trying build.
Divorce can impact many areas of your life; therefore, we help our clients identify potential snares and give them the tools they need.
Honest & Straightforward
We pride ourselves on being a trusted advisor. If we feel pursuing something could negatively impact your case, it's our job to let you know.