Navigating Sensitive Child Custody Matters

At Rombro & Manley LLP in Manhattan Beach, California, our child custody attorneys provide skilled, compassionate representation in a broad range of child custody and visitation matters. Our knowledge in this area of law goes beyond the academic. Our lawyers have personal experience being involved in child custody disputes. We understand the tremendous emotional stakes that accompany these legal matters.

Our child custody attorneys are prepared to protect your parental rights in disputes involving out-of-state custody matters, parental alienation, false allegations of abuse, interference, and other complex and contentious matters. We represent clients in establishing initial child custody orders as well as modifications. We have the experience, skill and resources to make a difference.

Legal And Physical Custody Explained

Legal custody means having the right and responsibility to make decisions for the child regarding medical, educational and religious upbringing. Physical custody determines with whom the child will live.

Custody can be given to one parent alone ( sole custody) or to both parents ( joint custody). In both legal and physical custody decisions, the court begins with a presumption that joint custody is the best option. However, factors such as abuse, neglect or drug and alcohol abuse can rebut this presumption and result in custody being awarded solely to one parent.

The court's primary interest is what is in the best interests of the minor child, not in fulfilling the wishes of the parents. If the court needs help in determining what is in the child's best interests, it can appoint experts to assist it in making those determinations.

Even in the case a parent has sole or primary custody, the other parent usually has visitation rights and is able to spend some time with the children. We help parents in divorce proceedings to ensure that they will have adequate custody and visitation periods to participate fully in their child's upbringing.

Even if a parent decides to relocate at some point, our attorneys are here.

Understanding Parenting Plans

A parenting plan outlines the logistics of how the parents will spend time with their children. Whether custody is joint or sole, there will be some sharing of the child's time between the parents. Difficulties arising from this arrangement can best be avoided by drafting a detailed plan in advance.

If child safety is a concern, the court may order supervised visitation or, in rare circumstances, no visitation. Supervised visitation can be ordered when necessary to protect the child's safety and well-being. Supervision can be done by a professional agency or another adult, or be done by a family member or any agreed-upon third party.

Our goal is to help you achieve the best possible outcome in the least stressful manner.

Establishing Your Custody Arrangement

There are typically two courses of action when establishing a custody arrangement: negotiation or court decision. In some cases, child custody agreements can be reached outside of court if both parents are willing to work together. An agreement can be reached through informal settlement negotiations or mediation. If you cannot reach an agreement, the matter will be moved to court, where the judge will make the decisions regarding your custody arrangement.

In either case, it is highly recommended that you hire a child custody lawyer to serve as your advocate.

Experienced Legal Representation

Usually, if the parents can agree between themselves on a plan for custody and parenting time, the court will approve the parents' arrangement. If the parents cannot agree, the court must order mediation through Family Court Services. If mediation fails, the judge will decide custody issues in a court hearing. At any stage in this process, it is important to have the advice or representation of an experienced family law attorney to help you obtain the custody and visitation you want for your children.

Our knowledge in this area of law goes beyond the academic. Our lawyers have personal experience being involved in child custody disputes.

How Can A Custody Lawyer Help You?

There are several advantages to hiring a child custody attorney, including:

Serving your child's best interests

Your attorney will advocate on your behalf and in the best interests of your child. He or she will have an in-depth understanding of the laws pertaining to child custody as well as how certain aspects of an arrangement can affect your child's life. Based on your family's needs, your attorney can help guide you through the process.

Presenting your case

As with all aspects of divorce, child custody hearings are highly emotional. While you focus on weathering this difficult time, an attorney can serve as your advocate, presenting the most pertinent information regarding your custody case to the court in the most persuasive and compelling manner.

Focused strategy

It can be incredibly difficult to understand all of the nuances that are involved in child custody law. However, your attorney will. You can identify your major concerns, and your attorney can help you build and execute a legal strategy to achieve the best possible outcome. Your attorney can also anticipate potential issues and help you create a comprehensive agreement to help avoid future disputes.

Why Choose Rombro & Manley LLP?

Our attorneys have helped families for more than 40 years. Our team understands the sensitive and trying nature of divorce and separation, so we offer the support and compassion you need during this time. Our own attorneys have been through divorce and custody arrangements themselves. As such, they can empathize with your situation. With an understanding of both sides of the process, they can provide the legal assistance you need.

Our team is always pursuing continuing education opportunities in order to provide the best possible services for our clients.

Over the last few decades, we have created a team that shares the same values and provides compassionate, effective legal services. We understand that every situation is unique, and that each client will require personalized guidance. This is exactly what we are committed to providing in every instance.

Contact Us Today

If you face a child custody dispute in California, we are here to protect your parental rights and the best interests of your children.

To set an appointment, contact us online or by telephone at 310-545-1900. Our team would be happy to address any questions you may have about the process.