More than any other area of family law a child custody dispute requires competent legal counsel. Child custody disputes require not only current knowledge of the law but wisdom and judgment which can only come from years of experience in the courtroom. Because of his experience in custody matters Mr. Barnes often serves as a Court-appointed attorney to represent children in high-conflict case involving child custody.

You can obtain an order for child custody while your divorce is being processed by the court. You do not have to wait for a judgment.

We have experience litigating high-conflict custody matters as well as move-aways. In California, the court will make child custody decisions based on what is in the “best interest” of the child if the parents can’t come to an agreement. In deciding which parent should have primary custody, the court will consider:

  • Which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent and continuing contact with the nonresidential parent
  • The history of contact between the parents and the child
  • The health, safety and welfare of the child
  • The mental and physical health of the parents, including any history of continual alcohol or drug usage
  • The preference of the child, if the child is intelligent, understanding and experienced enough to express a preference
  • Evidence of child abuse

After the custody order is signed by the judge and filed with the court clerk, both parents are bound by it. If a parent is denied court-ordered access to a child, he or she may bring the issue back before the court. The judge may decide to modify the visitation order, order makeup visitation for the time missed and order counseling or mediation.

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