Child Custody Attorney

Top Child Custody Attorneys in Long Beach, Los Angeles & Orange County

Child custody and visitation are often the most contentious and stressful issues that a family faces during a divorce or legal separation. Courts encourage parents to reach a child custody arrangement between themselves. However, if the parents are unable to do so, an Order to Show Cause may be filed with the court to have it define a temporary order regarding child custody. In many cases, these temporary orders significantly affect the court’s final decision regarding a permanent custody order. For that reason, it is extremely important for a parent to take early action in order to receive the most favorable custody agreement possible.

Our Child Custody Attorneys Approach

When parents cannot make an agreement on custody arrangements, court involvement is necessary. During this tumultuous and highly emotional time, our attorneys offer clients compassionate advice in negotiating their issues following their divorce or legal separation. Often, we may employ the use of outside experts in order to obtain the most favorable custody schedules available. This is done to protect the best interests of the children. There are two areas of custody which must be resolved: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody grants a parent the rights to make decisions relating to the health, education and welfare of the children. When determining legal custody, the court will look at the mental and physical ability for the parent to care for the children , the history between the parents and children, and more. Physical custody, also referred to as visitation, allocates how much time each parent will have with the children. Children primarily live with the parent who has been granted physical custody. When the issue of child custody arises during a divorce or separation proceeding, the court takes a variety of factors into consideration. Child custody is most often decided based upon the best interests of the kids.

Types of Child Custody

During a divorce or separation, determining custody of the children can be a complicated and emotionally-charged issue. There are many different types of custody agreements. Temporary custody is a agreement which two spouses enter into during a legal separation or divorce proceeding, before it’s finalized. Exclusive custody awards one parent complete and total custody over the child or children. The non-custodial parent may have supervised visitation rights, but one parents retains control over decision-making. Joint custody permits both parents to have equal visitation rights and equal decision-making benefits with regard to the child’s upbringing. If there are multiple children, the court can separate them evenly, according to the best interests of the child. No matter the custody arrangement, the non-custodial parent will almost always maintain the right to visit the child or children, with the exception of extremely rare circumstances.

More About Child Custody Law

Child custody decisions are usually made according to the child’s best interests and the process of making these decisions is often emotional and complicated. When deciding which parent should retain custody, the court will consider the parent’s ability to provide for the child, the parent’s medical history, the child’s wishes, the emotional bond between parent and child, the quality of life the child currently has and what it will take to maintain their status quo.

If visitation rights are not explicitly described in the custody agreement, the law implies a birth parent’s right to visitation. If one parent disobeys the custody agreement, the court can order the parent to be in indirect contempt of court. Since these matters are extremely complicated, we suggest calling our office to retain a lawyer in order to help you navigate through the custodial process.

Our Family Law & Divorce Attorneys

When you’re going through a tough time, you need a full team on your side. Our five-attorney firm has all of the resources to attend to our clients' needs.

100+ Years Collective Experience

Our Family Law Firm's History

Gilligan, Frisco & Trutanich, LLP, was co-founded by John J. Gilligan, who has been practicing family law in Long Beach since 1981. Janine M. Frisco is also a partner, as is Kristin Trutanich. Together, they are the area’s most comprehensive legal stronghold.

GFT has helped individuals and their families surmount their legal difficulties for the past several decades. We are proud to serve Southern California, and have the dedication and experience required to handle every type of issue.

The Team of Attorneys You’ve Been Looking For

Our experienced team of professionals will guide you through life’s murkiest waters. At Gilligan, Frisco & Trutanich, LLP, we have the resources needed to represent clients in all aspects of family and criminal law.

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We have two offices conveniently located in Long Beach & Palos Verdes. We represent clients in courts throughout Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside counties.