Bakersfield Child Custody Attorneys
Protecting You & Your Child's Rights
Navigating a child custody battle can be nerve-wracking for a parent. At Alternative Divorce Solutions, our Bakersfield child custody attorneys are committed to providing parents with compassionate, experienced legal counsel that enables them to seek the best outcome for their children and defend their parental rights.
How Does Custody Work in CA?
Parents in California can have one of two types of custody:
- Physical custody, which governs a parent's ability to house a child; and
- Legal custody, which governs a parent's ability to make decisions concerning their child's rights such as the education they receive, the healthcare they get, the extracurricular activities they participate in, etc.
Additionally, parents can share legal and physical custody in one of two ways:
- Joint custody. In a joint custody arrangement, both parents have physical and/or legal custody of their child.
- Sole custody. In a sole custody arrangement, only one parent has physical and/or legal custody of their child.
How Can I Get Custody of My Child?
Custody disputes often occur as part of the divorce process. To establish custody, parents can:
- Draft a custody agreement. If the parents agree on how to distribute custody between themselves, they can draft a joint parenting plan detailing that agreement. If a judge determines the parenting plan is equitable, they can sign it, finalizing the custody order.
- Litigate custody in court. If the parents disagree on how to share custody, they can instead each draft a parenting plan and attend a court hearing. During the hearing, each parent presents their case to the court. The court then uses the information the parents provide to determine and finalize an equitable custody order.
In any custody case, the court's primary concern is the child(ren)'s best interests. Courts consider the following factors during custody cases:
- The age and health of the parents;
- The age and health of the child;
- Each parent's relationship with the child;
- Each parent's current living situation and ability to care for the child;
- How a potential custody arrangement would impact the child's life and personal relationships;
- Whether another factor, such as domestic violence or substance abuse, plays a role in the case.
How much a time a child spends with each parent is usually determined via a visitation order, also commonly called a time-share arrangement.
There are four basic types of visitation orders:
- Scheduled visitation. When parents use a scheduled visitation order, they trade off physical custody on specific days according to a schedule they agree on (or one developed by the court).
- Reasonable visitation. When parents use a reasonable visitation order, they can flexibly trade off physical custody as needed.
- Supervised visitation. If a party obtains a supervised visitation order, they can only visit their child while supervised by another individual.
- No visitation. In some circumstances, if a parent is deemed unfit by the court, they may not be allowed to spend time with their child at all. Engaging in behavior such as family violence or substance abuse could make a parent unfit in the eyes of the court.
At Alternative Divorce Solutions, our Bakersfield child custody attorneys help Californians identify and pursue custody arrangements that benefit their children and safeguard their parental rights.
“Thank you for all your knowledge, conscientiousness, and kindness.”- Beverly
“First and foremost, I found that I had a lot to learn about the divorce mediation process. I did not exactly know what the role of the mediator was or if we would still have to go to Court.”- Donald B.
“I was so stressed out before I went to ADS. Once I got there Lani sat with me and my husband and explained the whole mediation process. After I left I knew exactly what to expect and ADS lived up to my expectations.”- Giz S.