Child Custody & Support

Custody of your children and visitation rights are very important parts of divorce and dissolution of domestic partnership proceedings, likely the most important part. When the judge is deciding how custody and visitation will be awarded, he or she will look at what happened earlier in the case and what actions you took, including when the separation began. This is why it is extremely important to seek the advice of an experienced family law attorney very early in a case.

At Oriole Law Group we fight for families, whether on the side of mother or father, we help you fight for your rights with your children. We want the best possible outcomes for families and will work hard to help parents work together to find an arrangement that works the best for their children. Contact us for a free consultation, we can help you no matter what stage you are in your proceedings. We’re here to answer your questions and help you navigate this difficult process.

Types of Child Custody

There are two types of custody in California:

Legal Custody (California Family Code Section 3003): This is usually shared by both parents, even if the children live mostly with one parent. This deals with decisions concerning the health, education and welfare of a child. In certain circumstances, legal custody may be given to only one parent.

Physical Custody (California Family Code Section 3004): This deals with where the child is living. Most often, one parent has primary physical custody and the child lives with them the majority of the time. The other parent would have visitation rights. In some cases, the child may live in both of the parents’ homes and the parents would have joint physical custody.

How Does the Court Determine Custody and Visitation?

When deciding how parents will split custody and visitation, the court looks to find out what is in the best interest of the child or children. When figuring this out, the judge has discretion to consider many different things. Some of the things taken into consideration are:

  • The child’s age and what he/she wants;
  • Whether either parent has a criminal history;
  • How stable each parent is;
  • How much each parent has cared for the child in the past; and
  • The ability of each parent to care for the child.

  • Modification to Existing Custody or Visitation Order

    As your child or children get older, the custody or visitation orders may need to be modified to deal with changing circumstances for changing needs of a child. If one of you needs to relocate for a new job, or one parent has become unfit to care for the child, changes will need to be made. Oriole Law Group can help you modify any existing order you have, even if we weren’t involved earlier in the process.

    Child Support

    Child support will be in place for your child until that child becomes an adult. Whether you are separating or divorcing from your spouse or domestic partner and are going through the process of a child support order, or you want to fight an unfair child support order already in place, an experienced attorney from Oriole Law Group can represent you in family court so you don’t have to go through it alone.

    Modifying a Child Support Order

    The child support order you have in place now may have worked for a while, but something may have changed, like one spouse’s income. If you need to modify your child support order, an experienced attorney from Oriole Law Group can help.

    Pursuing Child Support

    Under California law, both parents are required to provide support for their children. When determining what support must be paid, the court will look at California’s Child Support Guidelines. The court will consider the incomes of each parent, the child custody arrangements and what the child needs.

    An attorney from Oriole Law Group will stand in your corner and make sure that all the financial facts are presented accurately so that the child support ordered is fair and appropriate for the situation. Your spouse may be attempting to mislead the court by inaccurately painting their financial situation or hiding their income. Our attorneys will uncover all the facts and make sure the court has an accurate understanding of everyone’s financial situation.

    Enforcing Payment of Child Support

    If you have a child support order and are not receiving payments or are owed past child support that you haven’t been paid, an attorney from Oriole Law Group can help you take action to collect the child support you are owed.

    How Child Support is Calculated

    Child support is usually paid to the parent who the children are living with the majority of the time to contribute to the cost of raising the child. If the child lives with each parent an equal amount of time, the parent who has the lower income may still be entitled to child support.

    The court will use the following factors to determine the amount of child support:

  • Incomes of the parents;
  • Cost of childcare and insurance;
  • Whether or not either parent has other children living with them; and
  • The amount of time the child spends with the parent they don’t live with.

  • Facing an Unfair Child Support Order or Fallen Behind on Your Child Support Payments?

    There are harsh penalties for parents who fall behind on their child support payments, including wage garnishments, driver’s license suspension or even criminal charges. If the other parent lied in their petition for child support, we will fight to get the petition modified to be fair to both parties.

    Dealing with a Child Custody or Support issue can be one of the hardest times of a persons life. At the Oriole Law Group, we take the weight off your shoulders and fight for your rights. Contact us and you'll see how we can make your life easier.