Child Custody & Support Attorney in La Jolla
A Seasoned Lawyer Well-Versed in California Law
When a divorcing couple has minor children, important decisions must be made regarding their care and support. These issues are extremely emotional and contentious disputes often arise when negotiating custody and visitation. At Dan McCandless Law, APC, La Jolla child custody and support lawyer works closely with clients through every aspect of their case and always acts in the best interests of our clients and their children.
Please call (858) 266-9171 to schedule a consultation to discuss child custody, support, and other important issues.
Child Custody in California
Divorcing parents are required to develop a parenting plan for legal and physical custody. Physical custody describes where the children will live and the parenting time of each party. Legal custody is the ability to make legal decisions for the child. If you are unable to come to an agreement, you will need to attend mediation before going to court. When issues cannot be resolved during mediation, the court will make the final decision based on the best interests of the child.
In making custody decisions, the court may consider:
- Preserving sibling relationships
- Child care arrangements during the marriage
- Co-parenting skills
- Drug or alcohol abuse by either parent
- Any history of domestic violence or abuse
- Any health concerns, both medical and physical, of both parents and the child
- The child’s preference, if they are old enough to make it known
Courts generally favor joint physical and legal custody, as long as the parents agree to it and there is no reason not to award custody to either parent. However, it may be possible for one parent to have primary physical custody, while both share joint legal custody. Our La Jolla child custody attorney can explain the law as it pertains to your situation, and help you navigate the legal process.
California Child Support Guidelines
Regardless of where the children reside, they need to be provided for and supported by both of their parents. Child support is often ordered in the final divorce decree. Whether you are likely to be the one paying or receiving support, you most likely have questions about how child support works in California. A formula for calculating child support is set forth in California Family Code section 4050.
The child support formula considers factors such as:
- Custodial time of each parent
- Income and earning capacity of each parent
- Certain deductions that either party may claim
Every situation is unique, and the guidelines don’t fit every situation. Depending on the earning capacity of each party, a non-guideline support order may be more appropriate. Our La Jolla child support attorney can evaluate your situation, explain California’s formula, and advise you about how the law is likely to apply in your case.
Understanding & Compassionate Legal Representation
Attorney Dan McCandless is a parent and understands our cases from a family perspective. Emotions run high when decisions are being made about your children, and we understand that you may feel overwhelmed and concerned about an uncertain future and the impact on your children. We guide you through the process with compassion, sensitivity, and highly skilled legal advice.
Custody disputes are complex and involve a series of steps, including negotiating with your former spouse and his or her attorney, attending court ordered mediation, and possibly going to court for a final decision. Whenever possible, we help our clients come to an agreement outside of court and develop a parenting plan that works for both parents and children. However, if your situation is not resolved, we are prepared to fight for your child in court.
Please call (858) 266-9171 to schedule a consultation to discuss custody and support issues.