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Meet Associate Attorney Jessica Kiley

Child Custody Issues in California Divorce

The first thing parents want to discuss is the custody of their children. This is the most important and difficult part of a divorce. Focusing on the best interest of the children will always be our firm's top priority. Custody is determined by evaluating what parenting plan is in the child's best interest. Ideally, these issues should be worked out between the divorcing parents to the greatest extent possible, because divorce is an inherently destabilizing event in every child's life. If an agreement is not possible, however, or when a child's safety or emotional health requires action, you can be assured that we will aggressively pursue all appropriate orders. We encourage divorcing parents to take every step reasonably practicable to protect their children and help their children through the difficult transition of divorce. We can recommend private counselors or evaluators that could assist the parents in making decisions if necessary.

Our firm can also help clients transition emotionally. We can help you and your children get access to any counseling or support resources that any family might require. We can also serve as a valuable resource and sounding board for helping you determine whether your children are progressing normally through the changes associated with divorce, or whether they might need some extra help.

The best interests of the child normally require both parents' cooperation

From a purely legal standpoint, an experienced lawyer's advice can help you understand the state laws and family court procedures that bear upon child custody and visitation issues. The law presumes that every parent-child relationship is important and worth preserving, and tends to favor those parents who show a full understanding of this principle. In some cases, mediation will be necessary to work out the details of a child custody agreement or visitation schedule. In most cases, however, mutually acceptable terms can be worked out between the parents themselves on a temporary or permanent basis.

Once in a while, however, especially in cases where one or both parents lack basic parenting skills or have a serious problem with drug or alcohol abuse, it will not be possible to craft an agreement that both serves the interests of the children and statisfies both parents. California family law attorney I have the experience with high conflict child custody cases necessary to protect your family's interests without unnecessary stress on the children.