Protecting Your Child's Best Interests
Exemplary Representation for Families Across Orange County
Among the many issues that can arise in divorce or legal separation, one of the most controversial and difficult items to consider is what will happen if there are any children involved. There are pertinent issues such as child custody, visitation rights, and support payments that must be resolved. In particular, determining custody can be extremely emotionally taxing for both parents, as well as for their children.
If you are currently facing divorce and are fearful for your children's future, look no further than The Hunter Law Group for the confident representation you need. Our legal team recognizes the fragility of the situation and we can help by fighting for your rights, your goals, and above all, your child's best interests. When a judge determines the custody rights, visitation schedule and if support payments are required, they will look at a number of different factors. Ultimately they will look to see that the child will be in a place that is safe, supportive and that maintains their existing quality of life as much as possible. If you are in the midst of the divorce process, you need a top attorney for your family law case in Orange County that will fight for your rights, especially when it comes to your children.
Factors Considered When Deciding Custody
In your divorce or separation case, the judge recognizes that both you and your spouse or partner make varying amounts of money, will live in different locations and make varying lifestyle choices. They understand that children, especially younger offspring, may not be able to speak up about what they want or if there is any reason why they should not reside with one parent or another. For this reason, they will look closely at your past judgments and your future moving forward. Defining which parent a child should live with or spend the majority of their time with is typically based on the following elements:
How old are the children?
It is still believed by many that very young children should reside with their mother, as they have the primary caregiver instincts. This is especially true of nursing babies.
What are the relationships like between the child and his/her parents?
Looking closely at how much time each parent spent with the child before the separation is important. Many times one parent may wish to suddenly have sole custody for a child when they have never showed much interest in spending time with them in the past. The judge will usually investigate the reason the parent wants custody and surely take it into consideration, although they may be a bit more wary of the situation.
How is each parent's living situation?
Oftentimes the parent who gets to keep the family home may be more easily granted custody, as their living situation is familiar to the child or children. Additionally, each parent's proximity to the child's school and other activities can affect the judge's decision. The judge will look to see which living arrangement would be most safe and comfortable for the child as well.
Is either spouse uncooperative or relaying negative information about the other?
A judge will not look as kindly on a spouse if he finds out that they regularly speak ill of their former spouse or partner in front of their children. They will consider how cooperative both individuals have been in the past regarding visitation and sharing the parenting schedule. If one parent is more willing to collaborate and be considerate, they may have an advantage in the custody battle.
Does either parent have a history of abuse or neglect?
This may seem fairly obvious that a parent with abusive or violent tendencies will receive very limited contact, if any contact at all; however, this also pertains to other areas. If one spouse struggles with alcohol or drug abuse, this could also be a determining factor in allowing visitation or custody. For those that struggled with abuse in the past, but have since sobered up or cleaned up their act, a qualified attorney can work to produce a persuasive and solid case in their favor.
What does the child want?
Depending on the age of the child, usually one that is over the age of 12 years old, the judge will take their opinion into account. They can ask the child questions regarding who they would rather live with or if there is any extraneous information about either parent that should be taken into consideration when determining the end result. All in all, every case is completely unique and there is no cookie cutter way to determine how a custody case will turn out. With so many factors to consider, it is essential that you have a compassionate and knowledgeable family lawyer by your side to guard not only your rights, but the rights of your children. With over 13 years of experience, our firm has had success time and again protecting families throughout Mission Viejo.
History of Successful Results
Saying that our firm can assist you and watch out for your child's best interests is more than just empty words, as we have a track record to show for it. Take a look at the following testimonial we received from a father:
" Mr. Hunter was also able to put safeguards in place that allowed my daughter to continue to flourish in my care… I don't know if my daughter would have had the opportunities in life today without Mr. Hunter's help along the way."
It is because of people like this that Attorney Hunter continues to dedicate his practice to helping families throughout Mission Viejo and the surrounding area, with their divorce and family law problems. Providing valuable solutions that further the overall happiness of our clients is something we strive for with each case we take on. Let us look at your existing circumstance and work with you towards a bright future for you and your children. Contact our office, toll-free at (888) 844-9281.