Custody / Visitation
Divorce in it of itself is challenging, but it becomes more difficult when there are minor children involved. For this reason, it is important to have strong experienced help at your side. Patrick Baghdaserians is a Pasadena child custody Lawyer and Family Law Specialist who also works in the Los Angeles area. Patrick Baghdaserians has over a decade of experience and is someone you want on your side when dealing with custody and visitation of minor children.
Generally, the court has jurisdiction over the custody of “minor children of the marriage.” Minor children of the marriage are those children who are natural or adopted children of both of the parties within the divorce proceedings.
Under California law, child custody has two parts which include: (1) physical custody and (2) legal custody. Either type of custody may be awarded to one parent or to both parents. When a type of custody is awarded to one parent is it referred to as sole custody and when a type of custody is awarded to both parents it is referred to as joint custody. A court has discretion to make these decisions. For example, a court can assign joint custody with regard to legal custody but not with regard to physical custody.
A court specifies one parent as the child’s primary caretaker and one home as the child’s primary home for purposes of public assistance eligibility when the court orders joint physical custody or joint legal custody. Although the terms physical custody and legal custody are often used, it is important to describe what they actually mean. Sole physical custody means that the child will reside with, and under the supervision of, one parent. With regard to sole physical custody, the court may order visitation to the other parent. Joint physical custody means that each parent will have significant periods of time with the child based on the agreed schedule of the court and the parties. However, joint physical custody does not mean that the child’s time with each parent is exactly split in half. On the other hand, sole legal custody means that one parent will have the right and responsibility to make decisions regarding the health, education, and welfare of the child. Joint legal custody means that the parents will share the right and responsibility.
Custody is always awarded based on the child’s best interest. According to public policy, frequent and continued contact with both parents after the dissolution of marriage is needed. This way, parents are encouraged to share the rights and responsibilities of child rearing; unless of course it is not in the best interest of the child. When the court is determining which parent should be awarded sole custody, the court takes into consideration which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent and continuing contact with the noncustodial parent.
There are several ways a court determines what is in the best interest of the child. One way a court determines what is in the child’s best interest is by considering any history of abuse by one parent. A second way is by considering the nature and amount of the child’s contact with both parents. In addition, the court must consider the habitual or continual illegal use of controlled substances, the habitual or continual use of alcohol, or the habitual or continual abuse of prescribed controlled substances by either parent. The list regarding what is in the child’s best interest goes on.
That is why, it is important to have someone with experience on your side when dealing with marriage dissolution and custody and visitation. Patrick Baghdaserians is an experienced Pasadena child custody Lawyer and Family Law Specialist who has dealt with a magnitude of custody and visitation cases in his over a decade of experience. Regardless of the reason, divorce is challenging, do not make the process even more difficult on yourself and schedule a free in person consultation with Patrick Baghdaserians.