Child Custody/Visitation Attorneys

Child Custody/Visitation Lawyers

At Tucker | Pollard Attorneys at Law, we recognize that child custody and parental visitation is a sensitive yet critical aspect of family law litigation, and decisions must be made that will have a significant impact on your children.

In California, child custody and visitation requires consideration of the best interests of the child. This standard mandates that the Court consider various sensitive factors which may increase the stress, discomfort, and disagreement between parents. This area of the law requires the knowledgeable, compassionate, and responsive representation that Tucker | Pollard Attorneys at Law provides. Whether you are seeking a custody and visitation order in connection with an action for dissolution, legal separation, annulment, abuse prevention, or parentage, we diligently work to obtain favorable outcomes for our clients while maintaining the sensitivity and attention necessary to ensure that the needs and interests of your children remains paramount.

Custody of children may be held by both parents (“joint custody”) or by one parent (“sole custody.”) Additionally, California distinguishes between “physical” and “legal” custody. If a parent has “sole legal custody,” that parent has the exclusive right and responsibility to make decisions about the health, education, and welfare of the child. If parents share “joint legal custody,” both parents are legally entitled to make such decisions. If a parent has “sole physical custody,” the child resides with that parent and is under the supervision of that parent. The Court may order visitation to the parent who does not have physical custody.

California contemplates that child custody can be assigned in a number of ways:

  • A parent may have sole legal and sole physical custody
  • A parent may have joint legal and sole physical custody
  • The parents may share both legal and physical custody
  • The parents may share physical custody, while one parent has sole legal custody

The state does not make a presumption in favor of any particular type of custody assignment. Rather both the Court and the family are granted “the widest discretion” to establish a parenting plan that protects and ensures the best interests of the child. California law requires that parties who are unable to agree on a child custody agreement attend mediation to try to resolve issues of custody and visitation. However, mediation and negotiation are only as effective as the other party's willingness to compromise. Litigation may be necessary. While the Court will issue a temporary child custody order based on the recommendations of the mediator, both parents have a statutory right to a child custody trial. It is in your best interest, and that of your children, to rely on an attorney to advise you during mediation and advocate for you during the adversarial judicial process.