San Jose Child Custody & Visitation Attorney
Deciding The Needs Of The Children
Both parents may agree in principle that they want what is best for their children, but when it comes time to iron out the details, things can fall apart. During a divorce, it is common for parents to disagree on what custody arrangement is in the best interest of their children.
Our San Jose child custody & visitation attorneys understand that your children are your top priority, and you are likely concerned with how the divorce process will affect them. You can rely on our team at Foster Hsu, LLP, for honest answers to your questions and attentive representation centered on the best interest of your children.
Call 408-841-7200 to make an appointment at our San Jose office.
How do Courts Decide Who Gets the Kids?
First of all, courts only decide custody and visitation when the parents cannot reach agreements. Whenever possible, it’s always best for the parents to sit down together and create a workable arrangement that meets the children’s needs and gives each parent a share in raising the kids and being part of their lives.
If the parents aren’t able to create their own solution, the judge decides what arrangement would be in the children’s best interests. The Court’s primary concerns are the health, safety and welfare of the child, and will heavily weigh issues such as violence or drug use. California judges look at the ability of each parent to co-parent productively and provide a stable environment for the kids. The judge might even consider the children’s own preferences if they are mature enough to make a reasoned decision.
Barring any health or safety concerns, California courts generally attempt to split custodial time equally between the parents and ensure each parent has a say in the children’s upbringing. Our attorneys at Foster Hsu go to trial when needed to advocate for a result that reflects the children’s needs and best interests.
Can the Court Decide Custody for Unmarried Parents?
If the parents were never married, they can still establish formal custody orders, either by having the court approve an agreement and enter orders accordingly or by litigating a child custody case in court. This process could involve proving paternity if the parents did not legally establish parentage through a voluntary declaration. When paternity is disputed, the court may order DNA testing and hear other evidence that proves or disproves the child’s parentage. The factors influencing the court’s decision for unmarried parents are the same as for divorcing parents, favoring some form of joint custody unless proven not to be in the children’s best interests.
Can Grandparents or Other Family Members Get Visitation?
The court has the discretion to grant reasonable visitation rights to a person who has an interest in the welfare of the child. This could include grandparents, stepparents, and others. If the parents are married and object to visitation from the grandparents, the courts start with a presumption in favor of the parents. For divorced parents, where the grandparents had a preexisting relationship with their grandchildren, the court will attempt to balance the needs of the grandparents with the parents’ fundamental parental rights.
What Happens When A Spouse Wants To Move Away After the Divorce?
It is not common for one spouse or parent to consider moving away after a divorce due to California’s high cost of living. However, this is a matter that requires the approval of the court or an agreement with the other parent.
It can be very difficult to obtain a move away order and relocation will complicate the child custody arrangement. It is important for you to understand what your options are if you want to move out of the area or if the other party has mentioned moving out of the area.
It’s Time To Talk about Child Custody & Visitation in Your San Jose Divorce
It can be difficult to decide what custody and visitation plan should be in place for your children. Contact the San Jose child custody & visitation attorneys at Foster Hsu to discuss the process of deciding child custody and how you can fight for your custody and visitation rights. Contact us online or call 408-841-7200 to make an appointment.