Westlake Village Child Custody Attorney

Focusing on the Best Interests of the Child

Children should always be the primary focal point of a divorce with both parents working toward solutions and compromises that allow the child a stable living environment and stable relationships with both parents. In most cases, sharing equal parenting time is an ideal resolution for the long-term benefit of the child. For parents in the midst of divorce or separation, however, it can be difficult to assume the new role of co-parents.

The legal team at the Law Offices of Stephanie L. Mahdavi understands the emotional and legal hurdles involved in custody, visitation and relocation matters. With more than a decade of experience and a certification as a family law specialist, Westlake Village child custody attorney Stephanie L. Mahdavi has the experience and legal skill to provide creative solutions and strategies that help the parents arrive at agreeable compromises. Additionally, as a divorcee herself and a child of divorced parents, she is particularly sensitive to the concerns parents and children face in divorce.

Our legal team represents clients in Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village and throughout Ventura County with their family law concerns. Reach out to our Westlake Village family law firm for answers to any of your child custody questions.

Child Custody Options in Westlake Village, California

Before the court is required to determine which type of custody arrangement is in a child’s best interests, both parents must participate in mediation. This is a requirement under California law.

The goal of mediation is to help both parents arrive at a mutually-satisfactory child custody agreement. Reaching this ideal outcome tends to be easier for many when they have representation from qualified legal professionals. Our Westlake Village child custody attorney can ensure your rights are protected throughout mediation while also potentially helping you navigate this emotionally-fraught situation with your spouse in a civil manner. This can prevent a drawn-out fight for custody.

Westlake Village Child Custody Cases: Factors the Court Will Consider

It is not always possible for two parents to agree upon a child custody arrangement through mediation. When this occurs, it is up to the court to resolve the issue.

The goal of any California family court judge is to ensure a child custody arrangement serves a child’s best interests. To that end, when making a decision about child custody, a judge will consider such factors as:

  • Each parent’s mental and physical health
  • The lifestyle of each parent
  • The degree to which each parent has actively disciplined, educated, and otherwise been involved in raising their children
  • The current routine of a child
  • The degree to which particular visitation and custody arrangements would impact a child’s wellbeing

Hire an experienced Westlake Village child custody attorney to help you present your case as effectively and persuasively as necessary.

California Child Custody Topics: Visitation Rights

A parent who is not awarded custody of their children may nevertheless be granted visitation rights. Visitation rights come in these main forms:

  • Supervised visitation: As the name implies, this type of visitation arrangement involves the presence of a neutral third party who supervises a parent during their visits with a child. Courts sometimes deems this type of arrangement necessary if a parent must be reintroduced to a child after not being in their life for a long time, if there is reason to believe a parent might be a danger to a child, and other such reasons.
  • Reasonable visitation: This type of visitation allows a parent without custody of their children to spend a “reasonable” amount of time with them. However, because there is no official standard for what does and does not constitute a reasonable visitation schedule, you may need your attorney’s assistance to resolve this issue with the other parent.
  • Scheduled visitation: Scheduled visitation arrangements are often preferable to reasonable visitation arrangements when two parents struggle to amicably decide what constitutes reasonable visitation.
  • No visitation: In some circumstances, a court will decide it is not in a child’s best interest for a particular parent to have any visitation rights.

Protecting Your Children’s Interest Throughout The Process

When making decisions regarding child custody, the judge will always consider the best interest of the child first. This includes evaluating the child’s relationship with each parent, the school-age of the child, how he or she is performing in school, home dynamics, and other critical circumstances in the child’s life.

The court will also take into consideration the child’s opinion, obtained through mediation or in some cases, Minor’s Counsel. If requested, a judge may allow a child of a reasonable age to testify, however, this method is unfavorable.

In most cases, the court will grant joint legal and joint physical custody of the child, keeping both parents highly involved in the child’s life. Sole custody is difficult to achieve and is generally reserved for instances where it is not in the child’s best interest to be in the custody of one of the parents, whether due to abuse or other dangerous circumstances.

Consult With An Experienced Westlake Village Child Custody Attorney

There are few things more precious than the relationship between a parent and their child. Child custody and visitation are two of the most complex and emotionally charged facets of family law. It is vital to select a child custody attorney with a track record of protecting the rights of each patient and their children. Throughout the entire process, we will keep the negotiations directed at an outcome that protects your child’s interest both now and in the future. Our focus is to always place the client in the best position to succeed. To schedule a consultation and speak with a divorce attorney who has the best interest of your child at heart, please contact our California law offices today at 805-379-4550.

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