Child Custody and Support
Child custody matters are often complicated from an emotional and legal standpoint. Parents may have different opinions about the best arrangement for the child, or there may be changes in circumstances that have caused one party to seek full custody of a child. You may also find yourself in a dispute regarding the amount of child support that should be provided. Although child custody and support issues are commonly raised during a divorce proceeding, they can also arise in situations in which unmarried parents are attempting to establish or obtain custody of a child. Regardless of the nature of your child custody and support issue, the dedicated Colusa and Lake County child custody lawyers at Hinely Law are prepared to help you determine a way to accomplish your goals. We have provided guidance to families throughout Colusa, Lake, Yuba, and Sutter Counties regarding a wide range of child custody and support issues.Understanding California Child Custody Laws
If you are seeking custody of a child, or if you are facing a petition from your child’s other parent for custody, it is essential to know what the court will consider in ruling on the request. First, California allows each party to be awarded custody, and the court has the option of awarding joint custody or sole custody. The court also will award two types of custody. The first type is legal custody, which affords the recipient the right to make decisions regarding the child’s upbringing, education, health care, and more. Physical custody describes the right to spend time with the child, either through daily visits, overnight visits, holidays, or more prolonged periods of time.
In assigning these rights, the court will consider the safety, welfare, and health of the child, in addition to any history of abuse by the parties or by an individual in either party’s family who has a blood relationship or close relationship with the child. Drug use and alcohol consumption may also be considered if the use is habitual. An experienced child custody lawyer in Colusa or Lake County can explain how these factors may affect your case.California Guidelines for Awarding Child Support Payments
In general, child support is a term used to refer to the amount of money that a parent or that both parents are legally entitled to receive to help support a child or multiple children. This includes support for the child’s daily needs, living expenses, education, medical care, and more. The default assumption is that each parent has an equal responsibility to provide for the child’s financial needs. The court will only enforce this paradigm if one of the parents asks the court to issue an order to that effect. The parties can seek this order in many contexts, including during a divorce, separation, or annulment; during a petition to establish parentage; or when requesting a domestic violence restraining order.
A court will consider a long list of factors in determining whether child support is appropriate and the amount of payments that the custodial parent should receive. Some examples of these factors include the respective earnings of each parent, the potential earning capacity of each parent, the amount of time that each parent spends with the child, health insurance costs, the availability of financial support for the child from other sources, and the cost of daycare or any other uninsured support expenses. In the order, the judge can require the parents to split costs associated with child care that will allow a parent to return to work or to obtain vocational training, cover travel from one parent’s home to the other parent’s home, and account for educational needs and any other special needs that the court identifies. The payments will continue until the child turns 18, or 19 if the child has not finished high school by the time of their 18th birthday.Retain a Diligent Colusa or Lake County Child Custody Attorney
At Hinely Law, we have handled child custody and support cases throughout Colusa, Lake, Yuba, and Sutter Counties. As a result, we have seen how emotional and difficult a child custody dispute can be for the parties involved. Child support matters can be equally daunting, especially if you are uncertain regarding whether you will be able to support your child without assistance, or if you are concerned about having enough finances to meet a child support order. Whether you are considering seeking a custody or support arrangement, or you are currently involved in a dispute, we offer a free consultation with a child custody lawyer at our Lake or Colusa County offices to help you learn about your legal rights. Call us now at (530) 458-2950 or contact us online.