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What Are My Rights?

Divorces are tough enough when only spouses are involved. But, when you divorce with children, things can get a lot more complicated. At Garwood Reeves in San Diego, our team has extensive experience in dealing with San Diego child custody and support, spousal support, and post dissolution modifications. For effective representation in your divorce with (or without) children, you can trust our skilled divorce lawyers. We want to help you move on emotionally and financially. Call (619) 692-8100 today for a consultation.

Getting San Diego Child Custody and Support When Needed

It doesn’t matter if your divorce involves children or if it’s just you and your spouse, there are circumstances that need to be considered, especially regarding financial support. With more than 30 years of experience in California family law, Garwood Reeves of San Diego has the knowledge and expertise to help you move forward both financially and emotionally after your divorce. Whether you are settling your divorce through mediation or divorcing through the court system, our family law attorney can assist you with:

Things Can Change after Your Divorce, We Can Help

Just because your divorce is final, it doesn’t mean that you can’t modify your divorce agreement. In fact, it is a common occurrence to need to change the court order. You may need to change the amount of child or spousal support paid, you might want to change child custody or visitation agreements, or you may have to go after an ex who is not making required support payments. Discover how our divorce lawyer can assist you with post dissolution order modifications.

Types of Child Custody Awarded in San Diego

As the leading San Diego child custody lawyer, we at Garwood Reeves help parents with a wide range of child custody issues. Our child custody lawyer is here to help you understand the law and make sure that your rights are protected.

There are several different types of child custody, and each has its own unique set of rules and guidelines.

Joint legal custody: Both parents have the right to make decisions about the child’s education, healthcare, and other important aspects of their life. However, one parent may have primary physical custody, meaning the child lives with them most of the time.

Sole legal custody: One parent has the right to make all decisions about the child’s education, healthcare, and other important aspects of their life. The other parent may have visitation rights but will not be able to make any major decisions about the child’s life.

Joint physical custody: Both parents have equal time with the child, and they both have a say in day-to-day decision-making. This type of arrangement is often referred to as “shared parenting.”

Sole physical custody: One parent has primary physical custody of the child, meaning the child lives with them most of the time. The other parent may have visitation rights but will not have as much time with the child as they would if they had joint physical custody.

Who Gets Custody in San Diego?

In order to determine the best interest of a child, the court will consider a variety of factors. These may include, but are not limited to:

  • The child’s age
  • The child’s physical health and emotional stability
  • The ability of each parent to provide for the child’s needs
  • The  relationship the child has with each parent
  • The child’s relationship with siblings and other important people in their life
  • Educational needs of the child
  • The child’s religious upbringing
  • The wishes of the child, if they are old enough to express a preference
  • The parent’s use of alcohol, prescription drugs, or controlled substances
  • The parent’s history of violence or abuse including reports from child protective services, law enforcement agencies, or social welfare agencies

What Role Does a San Diego Child Custody Attorney Play?

At Garwood Reeves, the ultimate goal of our expert child custody lawyer is to help their client obtain the best possible outcome for their children. This may mean working to get joint custody, full custody, or even just visitation rights. In some cases, it may also mean fighting for child support or other financial assistance from the other parent. 

Whatever the situation, our child custody lawyer will work tirelessly to protect your rights and ensure that your children are taken care of.

Our child custody lawyer in San Diego can play many roles in helping parents with their child custody cases:

Negotiating custody agreement

While we provide intuitive legal advice and guidance, we specialize in negotiating a custody agreement.

Overall, while it is possible to get sole child custody in San Diego, it can be difficult to do so. Our child custody lawyer is adept at offering mediation services to help parents resolve their differences outside of court.

Given the complexities involved, being represented by our experienced child custody attorney with proven negotiating skills can give you a valuable advantage and help achieve the desired outcome.

Proving child abandonment

Our San Diego clients rely on us to establish child abandonment or failure on the other parent’s part to provide financial support or exercise their parental rights.

The extensive experience we have in fighting child custody cases has made us the preferred child custody lawyers when it comes to establishing that:

  • your ex-partner has not provided financial support
  • has not had contact with your children/child for over a year
  • has the intention to abandon your child. 

Our high success rates in such cases ensure the welfare and best interests of the children involved are protected.

Complicated jurisdiction

If you are involved in a child custody case, it’s important to understand the UCCJEA and how it may impact your case. 

At Garwood Reeves, we also specialize in establishing jurisdiction when it comes to child custody. 

Conducting due diligence to advising you on your options, our experienced San Diego child custody lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of the law and protect your rights.

Why Rely on our San Diego Child Custody Lawyers?

If you’re going through a divorce or child custody battle, you need the best legal representation possible. 

At the Law Office of Garwood Reeves, our highly skilled San Diego child custody lawyers have the experience and knowledge to help you through this difficult time. We understand the law and will work tirelessly to get you the best possible outcome in your case. We know how important your children are to you and we will do everything we can to protect their interests. 

Schedule Your Consultation Today

The divorce process can be overwhelming – especially when children are involved. Let us take away some of your burden and smooth the way to financial and emotional stability after your divorce. Putting it off won’t make the problems go away. Contact Garwood Reeves today at (619) 692-8100 and schedule your divorce consultation.

Child Custody and Support FAQs

We understand that figuring out the various aspects of child support and custody can be confusing and stressful. The following child custody and support FAQs can help you get started by answering some of your most pressing questions.

If you are still not sure how something works or need help with something that you don’t find here, schedule a free consultation with us right away. We’re here to help!

If I share joint custody with my ex, do we have to agree on every single decision regarding our kids?
No. In a situation where both parents have joint legal custody, either parent may decide on their own. But in order to avoid issues and returning to court, both parents must work cooperatively when making decisions and communicate with one another.
Can one of us move the children to another state or country without the other parent’s permission?

Generally, the parent with permanent sole physical custody (also known as “primary physical custody”) can relocate with the kids unless the other parent can prove that it’s harmful to the children. However, it is not always obvious whether a custody agreement is temporary or permanent and what the law necessitates in your case may differ. To make sure you comprehend how the law is applicable to your particular situation, speak with a lawyer.

If both parents share physical custody but one of you doesn’t want them to relocate, they can contest the decision in court. In this case, the parent who wants to take the kids with them must convince the judge that moving is best for the kids.

Are child support, custody, and visitation rights related to each other?

A child’s custody and visitation agreements are different from a child support order. Therefore, you cannot deny the other parent access to the kids solely because that person is not making their child support payments. Furthermore, you cannot reject paying child support if the other parent prevents you from seeing your kids.

However, there is a connection between child support and custody because the amount of child support depends on how much time each parent gets to spend with the kids.

What is mandatory mediation and how does it help in deciding child custody?

According to California Family Code Section 3170(a), the court must order the parents to mediate if there is a dispute over custody. The goal of custody mediation is to settle the contentious issues, reduce hostility between both the parents, and create a custody arrangement that is in the best interests of the child. Following the court’s order, the mediation session must be scheduled within 60 days.

Consult a lawyer before going to a mediation session. In a technical sense, mediation is private and confidential. However, if it fails to resolve the issue, you don’t want to unintentionally say something that may harm your custody case.

Can our child custody and visitation rights order be modified in the future?

Yes. In accordance with the California Family Code, modifications to child custody and visiting rights orders may be made when the child is a minor. Modifications can also be made whenever they are “necessary or appropriate” and in the child’s best interests.

Parents are unable to determine beforehand that their child custody or visiting rights order cannot be changed as California focuses highly on children’s well-being. Judges in family court won’t enforce such a contract.