Westlake Village Parental Rights Attorney

Going through a divorce or separation is never easy. This can be incredibly contentious, particularly if there are children under the age of 18 involved. If this is the case, the Law Offices of Stephanie L. Mahdavi already step in and help. Our Westlake Village parental rights attorneys thoroughly understand California’s family law and are ready to help ensure you are treated fairly. We will not let you get bullied when it comes to parental rights.

What are parental rights?

Parental rights refer to the rights that parents have to the care and companionship of their children. In the aftermath of a divorce or separation, the California family court system recognizes that both parents have rights concerning the children they have together. Barring any extenuating circumstances, a parent may not be denied their parental rights.

Parental rights and obligations include:

  • Child custody: Both parents have the right to custody over their children. This includes physical custody, which determines where a child will live, as well as legal custody that determines which parent will have the right to make all legal decisions for the child (religious, education, medical, etc.).
  • Visitation: There are various reasons why one parent may not have physical custody over their child. However, non-custodial parents typically have the right to visitation with their children. A visitation schedule needs to be arranged before divorce or separation is finalized.

Both parents also have an obligation to support any children under the age of 18 that they have together. California is very serious about child support laws, and any parent that fails to pay child support could face serious legal repercussions. Child support payment amounts are determined by a formula set forth under California law.

Can parental rights be terminated?

It is possible for parental rights to be terminated. If a child’s welfare is at risk, the court may elect to terminate parental rights. There are various reasons why a court may terminate a parent’s rights, including:

  • Abandonment
  • Neglect
  • Risk of harm or injury to the child
  • Unfit parent
  • Sexual assault
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Other criminal activity

A parent may also choose to terminate their parental rights, but doing so to avoid paying child support will be frowned upon by the court and will not release a parent from their obligations to support the child.

If a stepparent wishes to legally adopt a child, it will be necessary for one of the biological parents to terminate their parental rights because only two parents can legally have rights to a child in California.

We can help you through this today

If you are going through a divorce or separation and there are children under the age of 18 involved, seek assistance from an attorney as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of Stephanie L. Mahdavi, we are here to help ensure that you are treated fairly throughout this process. California family courts take parental rights very seriously, but we understand there are times when these rights are jeopardized. Our Westlake village parental rights attorneys work to ensure you have quality representation when it comes to child support, child custody, and visitation rights. Do not hesitate to take steps to protect yourself. You can contact us for a consultation by clicking here or calling 805-379-4550.

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