Dana Point Child Custody Lawyer

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Dana Point Child Custody Attorney

Child custody issues run the risk of turning contentious. Parents on both sides usually have a strong desire to maximize the time they have with their children, which can cause some challenges. It is important to have a skilled Dana Point child custody lawyer on your side who can advocate for your interests.

Cianci Law, PC, is a child custody law firm with extensive experience working with clients with child custody issues. Whether addressing child custody issues as part of a divorce or in other contexts, our team of lawyers, including Certified Family Law Specialists, are confident in our ability to put forth the strongest case that can be made for your interests.

Dana Point Child Custody Lawyer

Child Custody in Dana Point – Creative Family Solutions

Custody is divided into two kinds of custody that need to be addressed:

  • Physical Custody. This refers to where the child will generally reside and how the child’s time will be split between the two parents.
  • Legal Custody. This refers to the parenting decisions that will need to be made for the child regarding issues like religious upbringing, education, medical treatments, and other important concerns.

These kinds of custody can be held either, solely, where only one parent is responsible for the custody, or jointly, where the parents share in the responsibilities. Generally, it is the preference of the courts to award joint custody whenever possible, as it is the presumption of what’s best for the child. However, there may be times when this isn’t an option.

Both kinds of custody are not necessarily to be awarded the same way. It’s not uncommon, for instance, for one parent to have sole physical custody, but the parents share joint legal custody. This could happen in a situation where, because of the realities of one of the parent’s career responsibilities, they are unable to provide the right situation for the child to be awarded joint physical custody. Even if the other partner is awarded sole physical custody, the court will likely want to award joint legal custody.

How Child Custody Is Decided

The principle behind all child custody decisions in Dana Point and other areas in California is that they must be in the child’s best interests. This means that while judges will consider a variety of different factors in terms of deciding on a child custody ruling, they will measure those factors according to their impact on the child’s welfare.

This evaluation plan will need to be approved by the judge regardless of whether or not the parents are providing a parenting plan as part of a divorce separation agreement or the judge is making a decision. Even the parent’s agreement will need to be verified as aligning with the child’s best interests.


Q: Can Child Custody Orders Be Modified?

A: Child custody orders can be modified, but only under qualifying circumstances. This means that there will have to have been a substantial change in circumstances related to the factors involved in determining custody since the latest orders were issued. Additionally, it also must be argued that given the change in circumstance, modifications are necessary to ensure that the custody orders align with the child’s best interests.

For modifications to be made, a parent will need to first petition the court regarding the need for modifications. If the court deems that the petition shows enough to warrant a hearing, then the court will hear the arguments and decide.

Q: What if One Parent Refuses to Give the Other Parent the Required Visitation Time?

A: If one parent refuses to give the other parent the required visitation time, it is considered a very serious issue. Court orders are meant to be followed. If they are violated, the court will determine how to handle the situation. In some cases, preventing the child from spending time with the other parent can lead to a change in custody.

Q: Is Preference Given to Mothers in Child Custody Orders?

A: Preference is not given to mothers in child custody orders or on the basis of gender or sex. Judges should not use that as a criterion when making their decision. However, there may be ways in which mothers could more often be favored because of the family dynamics, particularly if they didn’t work or worked significantly less so that they spent more time with the children.

Often, what is in a child’s best interests may be a sense of continuity, which could lead to a preference for a mother in these circumstances.

Q: What Happens With Child Custody if a Parent Moves?

A: What happens with child custody when a parent moves depends on a variety of factors. In particular, a parent moving significantly further away or significantly closer could lead to substantial modifications to the custody orders. For instance, a move closer may mean increased time for that parent.

A move further away could require a change involving longer periods of time a child might visit their non-custodial parent, but they may be more infrequent. If you or the parent involved in custody is moving, it is wise to talk to a lawyer about your options.

We Understand How Important Your Children Are to You

Almost nothing in family law is as tense and brings out as much passion as child custody issues. Parents love their children, want what’s right for them, and want the opportunity to spend as much time with them as possible. While that passion is a wonderful thing, it can also create contentious custody battles and issues. That is why it is imperative that you have a Dana Point child custody lawyer who understands just how important this issue is to you.

At Cianci Law, PC, we are aware of just how sensitive an issue child custody is. While you can count on quality legal help from our team that includes Certified Family Law Specialists, you can also count on a team that understands how important these matters are to you. We are dedicated to doing what we can to advocate for your child custody interests. Reach out to our offices to discuss the child custody issue you are facing.


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