Berkeley Divorce Attorney for Child Custody
If children are involved in your dispute, you need to be sure that you have an experienced and ethical attorney to counsel you and, if necessary, to represent you at any contested hearing.
California law has long recognized that, in most cases, it is best if the parents reach agreement regarding the custody of their children. Agreements reached between the parents tend to be less traumatic for the children and for the parents. Moreover, agreements reached by the parents are more consistent with the long-term outlook for the children – the parents will likely make parental decisions in the future, not the judge.
However, in the early stages of separation, making joint decisions in the best interest of the children can be challenging. Recently separated parents often do not have confidence and trust in the decision-making ability of the other parent.
If the parents are unable to make joint decisions about their children, the court will make those decisions for them. California law requires, except in unusual circumstances, that both parties attend child custody mediation before the court makes any child custody determination. If an agreement is not reached at mediation, the mediator will provide the judge with his or her recommendations regarding the disputed child custody issue.
The decisions made in the early stages after separation, whether made jointly by the parents or by the judge, can have a tremendous impact on your children for many years. If you have disagreements regarding child custody, I can provide you with compassionate and realistic advice that may make a big difference in your children’s lives and help you to avoid a protracted and costly child custody dispute. Please contact me to discuss your children and your circumstances.