Child Custody & Visitation Attorney
Experienced Child Custody & Visitation Attorney Gurjit Srai Helping You Through This Difficult Time
Child custody issues can unnecessarily worsen a divorce that is already emotionally driven. Our legal system tries to make the process fair by focusing on the best interests of the child. However, most of the time there is a disconnect between a family law judge and the parties involved. Of course, this is through no fault of the judge. The courts are too backlogged with cases on calendar. As such, the judge gets only limited information during the custody litigation matter.
This makes it important to hire the right family law attorney in Stockton to present the judge with the pertinent information. Divorce lawyer Gurjit Singh Srai serves communities across the Central Valley. He is experienced and compassionate with such delicate matters. For more information or to learn how we can help you achieve your goals, contact the Srai Law Office.
Experienced Child Custody & Visitation Rights Attorneys
When negotiating child custody cases, you need a caring attorney who can focus on serving both your and your child’s best interests. Child custody attorney Gurjit Srai is committed to giving the best legal representation. Our legal team is sensitive to the frustrating issues that are involved in these cases. We have a reputation of strongly representing our client’s best interests, while making sure the kids are at the heart of every case.
We can deal with any issues that may be involved during your child custody hearing. As such, we will be able to successfully manage your case to get the best outcome possible.
Legal Custody v. Physical Custody: What Is the Difference?
Despite what most people think, there is a real difference between legal custody and physical custody. This difference is relatively easy to explain.
Legal custody involves both parties working together to make a decision that is in their child’s best interest. In other words, both parties share “joint” legal custody. Legal custody involves making decisions about your child’s:
- Medical decisions
- Where your child will go to school
Physical custody refers to the actual time a parent physically has a child in his or her care. Some cases involve joint physical custody. Other cases involve one parent having “primary” physical custody. In these “sole” physical custody situations, the other parent only has visitation rights to see his or her child. If the parents cannot agree on when a child will be in each parent’s care, the judge makes the decision.
Frequently Asked Questions About Child Custody and Visitation
When you are in involved in a child custody and visitation matter, we know that you may have many questions. It is always important to speak directly with a child custody attorney in Stockton about your case.
However, we understand that you may need quick answers to certain questions. Although the legal team at the Srai Law Office is available to answer your questions anytime, our attorneys want to give you a basis for understanding how your child custody and visitation matter can affect your case.
Below are some of our most frequently asked questions:
Will the court consider my child’s best interests?
Yes. The court’s primary concern in any child custody and visitation proceeding is the best interest of the children. Family Code § 3011 is right on point about what it means for the court to have “the best interest of the children.”
Under this § 3011, Stockton family law courts are obligated to consider various factors in making their decision, including:
- Whether either parent has a drug or alcohol problem
- The health of the parents involved
- The safety and welfare of the child
- The history of abuse by either parent
- The nature and amount of contact by each parent
Will the court interview my child during the child custody case?
Not always. Different factors are involved in deciding whether to involve the children, in any manner, in a child custody matter. This involves whether the court will interview the child. The age of the child is the most important factor the court will consider when deciding whether the child will talk to the judge. Below is a brief breakdown:
- Young children will not be interviewed by the Family Court Services (FCS)
- Children who are able to clearly articulate, certain things, such as their relationship with each parent, may or may not be interviewed
- Children 14 years old or older who express their desire to speak with the court will be allowed to do so. The exception is if the court decides that it would not be in the child’s best interest to express their wishes.
However, it should be noted that in most cases, a counselor interviews the children. In the rare situation that a child testifies in court, it is often done in the judge’s chamber.
What is the UCCJEA?
The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) is a set of laws that is adopted by almost every state. It deals with when and where child custody cases will take place. These laws become very important in the following situations:
- Parents live in different states
- Any type of order was issued in another state
- One parent wants to move to another state
- One parent wants to modify an out-of-state custody order
- One parent wants to register an out-of-state custody order
- One parent has escaped with a child to or from California
The UCCJEA laws are very difficult to understand and apply. If you find yourself in any of these situations, or any other situation that involves the UCCJEA, it is important to immediately contact a Stockton family law attorney. You need an experienced attorney to protect your rights to your child.
What if the circumstances of child custody change?
Child custody agreements are modified when there is a significant change in circumstances. For example, changes in a parent’s health, residence or income, or the needs of a child, may necessitate child custody modifications. An experienced Stockton child custody lawyer can help you with these issues and make the process much easier.
Your attorney can help you petition to change your child custody agreement. Modification negotiations, such as initial child custody discussions, can get tricky. The court may require you to prove that revisiting the initial agreement is in the best interest of your child. An experienced attorney can help present the best argument.
Can I speak to an attorney over the phone and ask specific questions about my case?
Yes. You can call us at (209) 323-5558 to speak with Attorney Gurjit Srai. He will answer your phone questions.
Contact an Experienced Child Custody & Visitation Attorney
Family law issues, especially those involving child custody and visitation, can be complicated in California. An experienced family law attorney in Stockton can make sure that your legal rights, especially right to having custody of your child, are well protected. The legal team at the Srai Law Office knows that family law issues can
take a big toll on your life and the lives of your children. We know that no two cases are the same. We will provide you with options tailored to the specific facts of your case.
For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our family law attorneys, please call us at (209) 323-5558, or complete our online form.