Your Top 12 Child Custody FAQs Answered

Your Top 12 Child Custody FAQs Answered

Child custody is one of family law’s most complicated and emotional issues. Parents understandably have questions and concerns about the child custody process. Certified Family Law Specialist Judy L. Burger answers the top 12 child custody questions clients ask us throughout California.

Most Common Child Custody FAQs

  1. What is child custody?

Child custody is the legal and physical responsibility for a child. Legal custody refers to the right to make decisions about a child’s upbringing, including education, religion, and healthcare. Physical custody refers to where the child lives and who cares for the child.

  1. What is the difference between sole and joint custody? Sole custody means that one parent has exclusive legal and physical custody of the child. Joint custody means that both parents share legal and physical custody of the child.
  2. What factors do the courts consider when determining child custody? The courts consider several factors when determining child custody, including the child’s age and needs, the parents’ ability to care for the child, the child’s relationship with each parent, and any history of abuse or neglect.
  3. Can grandparents or other family members get custody of a child? In some cases, grandparents or other family members can get custody of a child. However, the court will consider the child’s best interests and the parents’ rights before awarding custody to a third party.
  4. Can a child choose which parent to live with? Sometimes, a child can express a preference for which parent to live with. The court will consider the child’s age and maturity level before taking their preference into account.
  5. Can child custody orders be modified? Yes, child custody orders can be modified if there has been a significant change in circumstances, such as a parent’s relocation or a change in the child’s needs.
  6. What is a parenting plan? A parenting plan is a written agreement between parents that outlines each parent’s responsibilities and rights regarding the child. It includes details about custody, visitation, and decision-making.
  7. What is supervised visitation? Supervised visitation is when a parent is allowed to visit with their child but only under the supervision of a third party, such as a social worker or family member.
  8. Can a parent move out of state with their child after a custody order has been issued? If a parent wants to move out of state with their child after a custody order has been issued, they must obtain permission from the other parent or the court.
  9. Can I get custody of a child in another state?

It is possible, but it requires petitioning for custody in the state where the child lives. Attorney Judy Burger can help you understand the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act and what is required.

  1. How can I prove the other parent is unfit?

This requires presenting evidence to the court that demonstrates the other parent clearly endangers your child’s safety and well-being. Photos, videos, doctor reports, witness testimony, and more may be used to present your case.

  1. What are my parental rights?

Married spouses have joint custody of their children under the law until a court-ordered custody order is in effect. Unmarried mothers have sole physical custody of their children until the father legally establishes paternity. Court-issued custody orders grant certain rights according to the circumstances.

What If I Have Other Questions?

What should I do if I need help with child custody issues? If you need help with child custody issues, you should consult with experienced Family Law Attorney Judy Burger. She can help you understand your rights and options and guide you through the legal process.

Child custody can be a complex and emotional issue. Understanding the process and your rights can help you make informed decisions and protect your child’s best interests. Contact Certified Family Law Specialist Judy Burger with your questions and concerns.