The only thing harder than divorce is going through a divorce with children. Often, child custody is the most contentious issue in a divorce. Although two splitting spouses may have significant disagreements about many things, they both love and genuinely want the best for their children. This is an understandable and natural conflict. A difference in opinion does not mean one parent loves the child any less; it just means the legal system will need to intervene to make an unbiased determination on how both parents can move forward without disrupting the child’s life. To advance your child custody case, you will likely need the help of an Ontario child custody lawyer.
At All American Law, our Ontario child custody attorneys have many years of experience handling California child custody cases. In our first meeting, we will go over all of your legal options so that you can make an informed decision about your divorce and children. We will never force you into a decision you are not comfortable with and will always be available to answer questions or address concerns you may have.
There are many different types of custody, but the two most common are legal and physical custody. Ontario, CA legal custody awards parents the right to make decisions about their child’s life, such as what school they will attend, what religion they will practice, and whether they will require any special medical treatments. Physical custody determines where the child will live and how much time they will spend with each parent.
It is common for divorcing couples to disagree on both legal and physical custody. In some cases, one parent may want full custody while the other wants joint custody. In other cases, both parents may want primary physical custody but disagree on the legal custody or visitation arrangement. These types of disagreements often lead to heated custody battles that can be resolved through creative negotiation, mediation, or, in some cases, litigation.
In some cases, one parent may be deemed unfit to have custody of their child. This can happen for many reasons, such as if the parent has a history of domestic violence, is struggling with addiction, or has been convicted of a crime. In these cases, the other parent will need to provide evidence of the unfit parent’s shortcomings to have a chance at winning custody.
Some pieces of evidence that have successfully been used to prove an unfit parent in previous child custody battles include:
Any evidence that shows the parent has intentionally or unintentionally harmed their child in the past will also help prove that they are an unfit parent and may potentially repeat that behavior in the future.
When a court is making a custody determination, they will always put the child first. This means they will look at a variety of factors to decide which custody arrangement is in the child’s best interests. Some of the factors the court will consider include:
The cost of a custody battle will vary depending on the specifics of your case. If you can reach an understanding with the other parent through natural agreement, mediation, or arbitration, the cost will be lower than if you need to litigate the issue in child custody court. Other factors that could drive up the cost of a custody battle include the number of witnesses, the amount of evidence needed, and the complexity of the legal issues involved.
Child custody evaluations are made through the lens of what will uplift the long-term health, safety, and well-being of the children. The court will assess the child’s age, the child’s relationship with each parent, and the ability of each parent to provide for the child when making a custody decision. If there are any concerns that a child will be harmed or disadvantaged at work or in school, adjustments will be made to the custody decision.
An unfit parent is someone who has a history of abuse, neglect, or criminal activity. To be deemed an unfit parent, there must be evidence that the parent has harmed their child in the past or that they are likely to do so in the future. This evidence can come in many forms, such as police reports, arrest records, drug test results, or witness statements. The decision is not made lightly, as the courts generally want both parents to be involved in a child’s life, but it can happen.
There is no preference for any particular parent regarding child custody in Ontario. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and make a decision based on the individual circumstances of the case. In some cases, it may be in the child’s best interests to live primarily with one parent, whereas in other cases, joint custody may be in the child’s best interests. A father will only be awarded sole custody if the mother is deemed to be an unfit parent.
If you are in the middle of a child custody battle or considering starting one, contact All American Law today and see what confident and qualified representation looks like.