Child Custody

Every household has its routines set around how meals are prepared, how birthdays are celebrated or how the children are tucked in at night. When parents face divorce, those routines are disrupted and are replaced with a frightening uncertainty that goes beyond the day to day. You wonder what your home life may look like after divorce. Who decides where your children go to school or to church, how often they see the doctor, what sports they play or what activities they pursue? These issues are all related to child custody, one of the hardest-fought aspects of divorce in California.

Asserting Parental Rights and Safeguarding Childrens' Welfare

The Law Offices of Steven E. Springer understands the importance of your emotional bonds to your children and how seriously you take your responsibilities for their upbringing. Our child custody lawyers have more than 30 years of combined experience protecting the rights of parents in Santa Clara County and Alameda County and working for custody arrangements that serve the best interests of children.

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Explaining Child Custody Law in California

A court order for custody defines separate categories of legal rights and obligations that one or both parents hold with regard to their children as follows:

  • Physical custody — A parent’s right to have the children live in his or her residence, coupled with the responsibility to provide the children with physical comforts: food, shelter, clothing, a safe environment, etc.
  • Legal custody — A parent’s right to make decisions regarding the children’s health, welfare, education, religious training, socialization, etc., coupled with the responsibility to make all decisions in the best interest of the children
  • Sole custody — Exclusive rights and responsibility is given to one parent
  • Joint custody — Evenly shared rights and responsibilities

The court has the latitude to arrange custody in various ways, such as sole physical with joint legal. Certain “tie-breaker” mechanisms are available for parents who share legal custody. For instance, a parent with specific medical knowledge may get the final say in matters of healthcare. When parents have difficulty resolving conflicts, the court may require arbitration or appoint an attorney for the children. Parents who opt out of physical custody may receive child visitation rights. When considering child support, the court considers the relative time that each parent spends with the child and the incomes of the parents. In some cases a high-earning parent who has the most custodial time may be required to pay child support to the other parent. This order is separate from any order of spousal support.

Child Custody Attorneys in Santa Clara County, CA

The Law Offices of Steven E. Springer commits to providing quality legal representation in a comfortable and supportive environment at a reasonable price. We start all of our clients off with a free consultation, where we answer your most pressing questions and establish the basis for a positive working relationship. We recognize that detailed information and direct human contact with your family lawyer go a long way to developing the confidence you need to see your case through to a successful conclusion. That’s why we make every effort to engage with you personally, remain accessible, and deliver prompt results. Contact our firm for answers to all of your California divorce law questions.