Aliso Viejo Child Custody Lawyer

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Aliso Viejo Child Custody Attorney

One of the most challenging family law cases any parent can face is a child custody determination. It’s possible for this type of case to arise between married or unmarried parents. When married parents decide to divorce, determining child custody is likely to be the most difficult aspect of their dissolution proceedings. Unmarried parents who decide not to live together as partners to raise their children will need court-ordered custody agreements, so their children’s needs are protected. Whatever your situation may entail, legal counsel you can trust is an invaluable asset for your impending custody determination in Aliso Viejo.

Experienced Legal Representation for Child Custody Cases in Aliso Viejo, CA

The team at Cianci Law, PC has years of professional experience in family law, and our team knows how emotionally challenging any custody determination can be for a parent. Attorney Melissa Cianci is a certified family law specialist approved by the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization and has provided expert-level legal guidance to many clients throughout Aliso Viejo. Our team can address your unique individual concerns about your impending custody determination and help make more informed decisions as the case unfolds.

Why Hire an Aliso Viejo Child Custody Attorney?

Hiring legal representation for a child custody case is not compulsory. You have the right to try to navigate this type of case on your own without an attorney, but this is incredibly difficult and risky. If your child’s other parent has legal counsel but you do not, this places you at a severe disadvantage when it comes to your case proceedings. Even if you think you can make a convincing case for the custody rights you want on your own, there are countless variables that could arise that you will not know how to address unassisted by legal counsel.

When you have an Aliso Viejo child custody attorney representing you, they can help identify the key areas of concern in your case and prepare compelling arguments for you. It is important to remember that in any custody determination, the final decision rests in the hands of the family court judge overseeing the case. They are legally obligated to preserve the interests of your child, and you may not agree with their determination. It is your attorney’s job to handle the procedural end of your case, assist you in developing cohesive arguments to present during your courtroom sessions, and prepare the documentation you will need to submit to the judge for consideration.

While no attorney can ever promise a specific result to their client in any given case, you are far more likely to reach your preferred outcome in your custody case when you have an attorney you can trust representing you. Cianci Law, PC can work closely with you to address every detail that requires consideration in your custody case. You will have a responsive legal advocate readily available to answer your most pressing legal questions and address any concerns that might arise throughout your child custody determination. Ultimately, you have the greatest chance of reaching your optimal outcome when you have experienced legal counsel representing you in the Aliso Viejo family court.

Child Custody Determinations for Unmarried Parents in Aliso Viejo

Unmarried parents who decide not to raise their children together must have a custody order in place that carefully outlines each of their parental obligations. In any custody order issued, the order will contain specific terms regarding legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the ability to make important decisions on a child’s behalf while physical custody refers to the child’s residency and where they spend their time.

Most custody determinations will involve some level of joint custody, and while the parents may split legal custody and each have a say in how their children are raised, one parent is likely to have greater physical custody than the other.

Child Custody Determination in Divorce

Custody determinations for married parents in Aliso Viejo unfold similarly, but these proceedings are typically part of a larger divorce case that involves many other issues. Divorcing parents in Aliso Viejo often tend to seek as much custody as possible of their children, and unfortunately, this can sometimes lead to the parents treating their custody rights as bargaining chips in their divorce proceedings.

A judge overseeing a divorce will want to carefully examine each parent’s involvement with their child’s life as well as various financial issues, such as their income, work schedule, and general availability to address their child’s day-to-day needs. Custody can also impact other aspects of the parents’ divorce. For example, if one parent is keeping the couple’s marital home, a judge may be more inclined to grant this parent greater physical custody rights so their children can remain in their familiar family home.

What Does the Court Consider in a Custody Determination?

It’s natural for any parent to feel disempowered by the child custody determination process, as the final decision rests entirely in the hands of the judge overseeing the case. Any parent facing a custody determination in Aliso Viejo must accept the fact that they may not get the exact custody determination they prefer or that the judge may not interpret their situation as they do. Your Aliso Viejo child custody attorney’s job is to help make the most compelling case for custody possible and to prepare you for each stage of your proceedings.

When a judge in Aliso Viejo must determine custody rights for a child, a few of the criteria they must evaluate include:

  • The income of each parent. California law requires both of a child’s parents to contribute equally to the child’s financial needs, even if the parents make different levels of income. The income assessment of the parents will also be essential for the purposes of property division and alimony determination if the parents are divorcing, but in a standalone custody case the judge will want to determine what level of financial support the child should receive from each parent.
  • Each parent’s work schedule. A judge will only be willing to grant physical custody rights to a parent who has the availability to handle their child’s everyday needs. If a parent spends a great deal of time traveling for work, works odd hours, or their schedule otherwise conflicts with their child’s school schedule, these factors may work against them when it comes to determining physical custody.
  • The criminal history of each parent. Family court judges are wary of granting custody rights to parents with criminal records. This is especially true if a parent has committed any type of domestic violence or crimes against children in the past. If a judge determines that a parent poses an existential threat to their child they will be unlikely to grant them any custody rights.
  • The child’s preferences. Children sometimes form stronger bonds with one parent over another, even if both parents are caring and attentive. If a child is old enough to convey their preferences to the judge, the judge is likely to take what they have to say into consideration as they make their determination.

Every child custody case in Aliso Viejo is unique and it’s vital to have legal counsel you can trust to guide you through your impending proceedings. Your Aliso Viejo child custody attorney can help prepare your arguments for your courtroom proceedings, identify the greatest areas of concern that you must address in your case, and guide you through each step of the custody determination process.

Can I Change My Child Custody Order in Aliso Viejo?

Once a child custody order has been issued in Aliso Viejo, both parents are required to abide by its terms at all times, otherwise, they can face serious penalties from the court. However, it is possible for a parent to request a modification to a standing custody order if unforeseen circumstances arise that interfere with the current terms. For example, a parent may wish to move to a new area to pursue a job opportunity and provide their child with a higher quality of life. They will need to submit a request for modification to the family court, and it is possible for the other parent to contest the proposed modification.

Your Aliso Viejo child custody attorney can help with either side of a relocation request or other modification to your custody order. Whether you are seeking a change or you intend to contest your co-parent’s proposed change, your attorney can help you approach your modification proceedings with confidence and improve your chances of securing the results you hope to see.

What to Expect From Your Aliso Viejo Child Custody Attorney

A child custody determination may be one of the most difficult things you ever experience as a parent, and the right Aliso Viejo child custody attorney on your side will allow you to approach the situation with greater confidence and peace of mind. The team at Cianci Law, PC has years of professional experience in family law that we are ready to leverage for you in your impending custody case. We provide transparent billing information, so you know what to expect in terms of the cost of our representation and always seek swift and efficient results for every client we represent. Contact us today to schedule your consultation with an Aliso Viejo child custody attorney and find out how we can assist with your custody case.

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Child Custody& Support



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Estate Planning

Family Law

Family Law

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