Resolving Child Custody Disputes

Parents approaching divorce are naturally deeply concerned about how a marital separation and dissolution will affect the children. A marriage may be broken but a parent-child relationship carries on.

Unmarried parents also need legal counsel on matters such as paternity, child custody and visitation, whether or not the parents live together. Without a child custody order, a father may have no parental rights and a mother could potentially move far away with the child, without notification of the father.

What are the Options for Custody?

Discussions about child custody consist of the two aspects of custody as well as the types. The two aspects of custody are legal and physical custody. Legal custody refers to a parent’s legal ability to make decisions regarding the child’s well-being and day-to-day care. Examples include decisions about schooling, religion, medical care, extracurricular activities, and more. Physical custody refers to the physical location where the child stays.

The types of custody can either be sole or joint custody between the parents. Sole custody means that one parent retains all legal and physical custody of the child. Joint custody means that the parents share legal and/or physical custody of the child. Sometimes, one parent will retain legal custody but split physical custody, and other times the parents may split legal and physical custody equally between them.

How is Child Custody Determined

Child custody can be determined by the parents during divorce settlement negotiations. If the parents can come to an agreement regarding legal and physical custody in addition to any other decisions about visitation and time-sharing schedules, the court will review and often approve the plan set up by the parents. This option has the benefit of creating a child custody agreement that fits the unique details of your family and works best for you.

If the parents cannot agree on a child custody arrangement, the court will do so for them. This entails collecting evidence and taking testimony as to why you deserve to be the sole or custodial parent to your child. A trial will be held in which a judge will hear both sides before rendering a decision on the custody of your child. Sometimes, the court will adopt one side’s argument for custody, and other times the court will simply assign a boilerplate custody agreement to your case. The downside of this option is that you may end up seeing your child far less than you want or be forced to adhere to a child custody schedule that does not work for either side.

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act-UCCJEA

The UCCJEA governs Child Custody jurisdiction and proceedings between the states. California has codified the UCCJEA under Family Code Section 4300-4312. The purpose of the Act was to change existing laws to allow the states to confer with each other regarding matters of jurisdiction related to custody orders.  The UCCJEA also enabled Courts to address the need to prevent parents from leaving one jurisdiction and fleeing to another state or country.

Experienced Child Custody Counsel when it Matters Most

Solve your child custody problems or prevent potential ones with the help of an experienced family law attorney. I am lawyer Bradley S. Sandler. My family law firm in Los Angeles can be a useful resource for you as you seek answers and help regarding any aspect of child custody and visitation in California. I can advise you on:

Depending on your unique family circumstances, you may seek:

  • Joint, sole or primary physical custody
  • Joint, sole or primary legal custody
  • Visitation rights and schedules

Even if you and the other parent believe you two agree on where your children will live and how you will co-parent, a custody order is vital for protection of your child’s stability and your parental rights.

I can advise you through the necessary legal processes such as negotiations, mediation or trial. There may be complications such as allegations of addiction or other reasons you believe your child should see the other parent only in supervised visitation settings. If you need the input of an expert witness such as a child psychologist or education specialist, I can recommend a well-respected professional and coordinate the gathering of evidence that you are a fit parent. I can prepare arguments in favor of the custody and visitation arrangement that you believe will be ideal for your child’s well-being.

Get The Guidance You Need To Protect Your Parent-Child Relationship

You likely have questions and concerns about your child custody situation. I can help you create and pursue a strategy for settling the question of how you and your child’s other parent will parent your mutual child or children after a separation or divorce. The Law Office of Bradley S. Sandler A Professional Corporation provides skilled and efficient help. Call 310-246-3900 or contact me at to schedule a consultation at my Beverly Hills office.