Hablamos Español

San Luis Obispo Child Custody Attorneys

Child Custody Attorneys in San Luis Obispo, CA

Divorcing parents have to undergo a much more difficult separation process than spouses without children. On top of the division of assets and the emotional strain that comes with every divorce, child custody cases have the child’s future in the balance. Both spouses will likely think they know what is best for the child.

A San Luis Obispo child custody attorney helps uncover information from the child’s teachers and other adults involved in their lives. By taking the time to listen to educators and other family members’ thoughts concerning each parent, child custody attorneys provide valuable insight into these legal issues.

Call 805 Law Group today to speak to our child custody attorneys about how to get child custody in California. We are happy to answer your questions and the initial consultation is free.

What Is Legal Custody?

When you have legal custody of a child, you have the authority to make and state your choices about your child’s upbringing. A parent with legal custody has the power to choose their child’s schools and care facilities, as well as religious institutions, therapy, and healthcare professionals. Parents with legal custody have the option of choosing where their child will live—having competent child custody lawyers on your side can assist in safeguarding both you and your child.

What Is Physical Custody?

When most people think about child custody, they first consider physical custody. The child will spend the majority of his or her time with the parent who has physical custody. Physical custody may be shared between both parents, much as legal custody. The child will reside with both parents under joint physical custody. In an ideal world, the child would spend equal time with both parents; however, this isn’t always the case, and it isn’t always in the child’s best interests.

Give our child custody lawyers a call or speak with us online right now if you’re worried about physical custody or have concerns about how physical custody works. We’re here to assist you in any way we can.

The amount of time that the child will spend with each parent is a component in child support computation. Therefore physical custody of the child may also play a role.

What Is the Difference Between Sole Custody & Joint Custody?

Following a divorce, one or both parents may have legal custody of the child. When one parent has sole custody of their child, they are accountable for all of these choices on their child’s behalf. When both parents have joint legal custody, each parent may make decisions with or without the permission of the other. Joint legal custody is the most prevalent kind of child custody agreement in family law.

Although parents usually can communicate when making significant choices in the child’s best interests, the court’s help may be required occasionally. Our child custody lawyers collaborate with the parents, your spouse’s attorney, and the court to ensure the child.

Why Is Joint Custody Assumed the Best Option?

Depending on the situation, both sides must establish or refute specific legal assumptions. In criminal cases, the defendant should be presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

Unless one party shows otherwise, courts in California must presume joint custody is best for the child. Joint custody looks different for every family. First, physical and legal custody are distinct.

The agreement specifies how frequently each parent will have physical custody of the child. Legal custody entails making critical choices about the child’s health, education, and welfare.

Joint custody does not entail equal time or control. It is possible to have joint custody and have physical custody divided 60/40 or even 70/30. Generally, one parent has sole (or complete) custody if they have 70% physical custody.

What Is the Standard for a Child’s Best Interests?

In California child custody law, what does “best interests of the child” imply? In every child custody dispute, it is the determining factor. The term “best interests” is broad and ambiguous, but you need to understand it if you want to win your child custody case.

The best interest test in California permits the court to determine what is best for the child in terms of custody and visitation.

It is critical to use the phrase “discretion.” It gives the Family Court enough leeway that there are seldom any right or wrong decisions until the judge abuses them.

Child custody judgments are difficult to reverse due to court’s power in evaluating the child’s best interests. A judge must be found to have abused his or her discretion by an appellate court when it reviews and assesses the evidence (in restricted situations).

What Are the Considerations for a Child’s Health, Safety, and Welfare?

In general, since it is in the child’s best interests, courts prefer to favor the child retaining contact with both parents.

However, there are times when one parent is unsuitable to have legal or physical custody of their children. Even if both parents are capable of parenting, an equal allocation of responsibilities may not be in the child’s best interests.

The court considers the child’s health, safety, and welfare while choosing custody. During this time, judges may request answers to questions such as:


Is the child disabled or has any particular requirements? Is the child getting enough attention? Is the child willing and able to be cared for by both parents?


Is the child safe if just one parent is present? Is it safer to share a home with only one parent? Is one school better for a child than the other?


Is there anything more you’d want to know about this child? Are both parents capable of meeting the emotional requirements of the child? Is the child of legal voting age?

Other queries could fall within these categories as well. While the child is with the parent, You must demonstrate the child’s health, safety, and general welfare to the court.

Can a Criminal Record or Abuse Have an Impact on a Custody Decision?

While California courts prefer joint custody, they recognize that it is not always in the child’s best interests. Sole custody with the other parent may be in the child’s best interest in circumstances of recent abuse, addiction, or criminal behavior by either parent.

In domestic violence cases against any of the following persons, California courts may award sole custody to one parent:

  • Any biological child of the concerned parent
  • Anyone the parent looked after, even if only briefly
  • The opposing parent
  • Anyone with whom the individual is romantically involved with
  • Another cohabitant

The word “abuse” here does not refer to physical assault. Emotional or sexual abuse is also possible if one parent:

  • Is a sex offender who has been charged with a crime
  • Has abused children in the past
  • Has addictions to alcohol or illegal drugs that have not been addressed

If the other parent has any of these concerns, you do not automatically get full custody. The court requires evidence from you and your family law counsel.

What Are Some Situations That Aren’t in a Child’s Best Interest?

California family court judges usually prefer keeping a child in a familiar situation. A child is staying in the same school or area, for example.

Depriving one parent of contact with their child or making visitation difficult is not usually favored by courts. A parent with sole physical custody usually has the right to visitation with their child.

Parental contact with their child is encouraged under California child custody legislation.

Your child’s best interests may be overlooked. If the family court judge feels the parent seeking the transfer is attempting to do so, the other parent’s access to the child may be denied or restricted.

If relocation permits the child to attend a better school or access better child care or a support system, it may be in their best interest.

A family court’s purpose is to maintain all other parts of a child’s life constant while allowing both parents to be involved in their child’s life while choosing custody.

How Are Visitation Schedules Created?

Weekly, monthly, holiday, and summer visiting schedules must all be included in your custody agreement. Both parents have a legal right to see their children often. A judge may allow supervised visitation even if a parent has a history of drug addiction or physical violence.

Noncustodial parents who do not have shared custody in California are entitled to only limited visitation. It amounts to one weekend overnight stay with the child and one weekday with the child. A judge can give you more visiting time, but not less. 

When a child’s safety is in jeopardy, a court may provide supervised visitation to just one parent. At a prearranged location, supervised visits occur. The parent’s visits will be supervised until the court determines that the child is safe in the parent’s care.

When parents have joint legal custody, the custodial parent makes the final choice.

How To Change Child Custody Agreements

Original child custody arrangements may expire at any moment. It usually occurs due to a change in your or your child’s circumstances. The custody and visitation rights of a parent may be changed. 805 Law Group can assist you in amending a custody order and making choices.

California law recognizes that children grow up and that the circumstances of the adults involved change. Either parent may change a broken custody agreement. For a petition to be authorized in California, you must show that you have experienced a substantial change in circumstances. The following are some of the situations that increase the likelihood of the petition’s approval:

  • Changes in your child’s school or other routines.
  • One parent’s new job makes parenting more difficult.
  • Mobilization of the military.
  • There’s proof that the other parent’s house is dangerous. (Accusations of neglect, aggression, criminal conduct, and drug and sexual abuse are included. However, you must prove them in court.)
  • When it comes to your child’s welfare, education, and health, the other parent refuses to cooperate.
  • A parent relocates to another state.

Experienced child custody attorneys at 805 Law Group can help you file a proper custody change petition with the court. We also assist parents in getting undesired custody adjustments reversed. Changes in custody that are not disputed are simple and take minimal time. If the other parent objects, you’ll almost certainly end up in court.

Experienced Child Custody Attorneys at 805 Law Group

When it comes to child custody, it’s critical to have a divorce lawyer who has handled instances like yours. 805 Law Group’s child custody lawyers will collaborate with you to get the best possible result for you and your child. In many cases, it is in the child’s best interests for the spouses to reach an agreement, which our Atascadero child custody lawyers may assist with.

However, both parents are not necessarily liable for the child. The court will look at both guardians’ parenting skills, stability, and criminal past in custody proceedings. We will consider the preferences of the child as well. Our child custody lawyers can help you present yourself and your case to the court in the best possible light.

For a free case consultation, fill up our online form or call 805 Law Group today if you need assistance in a child custody matter.