If you are facing a child custody dispute, winning custody may seem like a longshot. However, what courts look for when awarding custody is often surprising to many parents, and may allow you custody where you might not expect to win. If you are going through child custody issues in California, be sure to talk to an attorney about your options. The Ventura child custody lawyers at the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth offer free consultations to help you understand what our attorneys can do to help with your case.

California Child Custody Tips

To understand what you can do to win custody in California, you must first understand what custody you want to win. There are two general types of custody: legal and physical custody. If you have physical custody, you must also have legal custody. Legal custody is the ability to make decisions in your child’s life, including decisions about your child’s:

  • Education,
  • Religion,
  • Healthcare,
  • Sports and activities,
  • Travel, and
  • Housing.

These decisions require input from both parents with legal custody, and the parents must figure out how to work together on them (or let the court decide how decisions are made).

If you have physical custody, that means you have your child with you, living in your home. This often gives you the ability to make smaller, day-to-day decisions, such as what’s for dinner or how the child is getting to and from their activities that day. Parents often split physical custody in California.

How to Obtain Child Custody

In most situations, parents want physical custody of their children. If there are custody issues, one parent often tries to control all custody decisions and block the other parent entirely. The goal of many custody battles is for the parent to get legal custody, and at least joint physical custody of their children. Thankfully, this is usually California’s goal as well.

There is a presumption in CA law that having both parents in a child’s life is best. This means that courts will often prefer to give both parents partial custody if each parent is willing to take custody. This usually comes with some custody plan, where the parents can decide who gets the kids for how long, which holidays the kids spend with them, and how parents will hand-over custody to the other parent.

In some situations, however, parents are cut-off from custody because of problems in their own lives. In these situations, parents often need to prove to a court that they are indeed strong, responsible parents who deserve custody of their children. To best enhance your chances of getting child custody, try some of the following tips:

Bond with your Children

Courts always consider the best interests of the child when making custody decisions, and want to send the children with a parent that loves them and has strong emotional ties. Courts look to the children to see the emotional ties, and if your children clearly do not want to live with you, courts may take that into consideration. Be there for your kids, plan fun activities, and spend quality time with them to help show the court you are doing your best as a parent.

Secure and Maintain a Job

If you have weak financial stability, courts will see this as a drawback. Courts want parents to be able to support their children, which includes financial child support. Maintaining a job shows you are able to support your kids.

Seek Anger Management Counseling

Parents with a history of abuse – whether against the children or other adults in the household – may lose custody of their children. Getting help with your anger or violence problems can show a court that you are willing to change and create a better atmosphere for your children.

Seek Drug or Alcohol Abuse Counseling

If you have a habit or addiction, it is important to work to fix it. Children who grow up around drug use and abuse or alcoholism are more likely to adopt those habits in their own lives. Especially with older children who understand things like drugs and alcohol, it is vital that courts see you setting a good example. Getting help with your drug or alcohol problem shows a court you are willing to be that good example for your children.

Ventura Child Custody Attorneys

There is no clear-cut, automatic way to guarantee you will win a custody dispute. However, making some of these changes in your life will certainly count in your favor. Let an attorney handle the rest. Many of the issues behind custody disputes are matters of interpreting the law and advocating for your position. The Ventura family lawyers at Bamieh and De Smeth have decades of experience helping our clients accomplish goals like achieving child custody. For a free consultation with our lawyers on your child custody case, contact our law offices today at (805) 643-5555.