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Posted on in Child Custody

IL family lawyerChild custody is complicated no matter the circumstances of a parent’s particular case. Not only are custody battles complex, but they are often stressful times for everyone involved. However, the stress and complexity of a child custody case can each take on new dimensions when one parent is not a U.S. citizen. A San Jose child custody attorney can help explain what options you have today.

Types of Custody Available for Non-Citizen and Citizens Alike

Even though one of the parents is not a U.S. citizen, they will be given a fair chance at gaining custody rights over their American citizen child or baby. The custody decision may be one of the following:

  • Sole legal custody;
  • Joint legal custody;
  • Joint physical custody;
  • Visitation rights; or
  • No custody or visitation rights.

California courts will always choose a living situation and custody arrangement that is in the best interests of the child. This remains true even when one parent is not a U.S. citizen. As such, it is important to understand this vital question: “what are the best interests of your child?” The court will analyze the following factors (and more) to come up with a decision:

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California custody lawyerHaving been through a divorce or separation, your child has already suffered a high degree of emotional trauma. Enough early childhood trauma can cause serious developmental issues in regards to future relationships, education, emotional stability, and general happiness. According to Mental Health Connection, divorce/separation or loss of a loved one (parent) is an early childhood trauma. With that said, it is crucial to provide as much emotional and physical protection for your child in the years to come, and this includes protection from the other parent who has custody and who you know is not fit to be looking after your child. One common type of problem that our lawyers have helped solve is when a parent with custody, or a parent with visitation rights, is living in an unfit residence that poses a threat to your child. If you are in a custody battle or believe that your child’s well being is being put at risk from a parent with custody or visitation rights, you need to contact a San Jose custody attorney as soon as possible.

Types of Dangerous Residences

A home needs to be safe and clean, and the living conditions need to be stable. If non-family members are coming and going at odd hours, dangerous acquaintances or romantic relations spend time at the residence when your child is there, or the dwelling itself poses a physical risk, there may be grounds to revoke custody or visitation rights. A judge will always side with the child’s best interests, which may align with having a safe living environment over maintaining the living relationship with the other parent.

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California family lawyerA child’s declining behavior may be grounds for a custody hearing. In California, a parent may lose their custody rights to either the other parent or the state through foster care, if it has been shown that they cannot control their child and keep them from potentially harming themselves through reckless or illegal behavior. Recently, a teenage girl who repeatedly ran away from home, and who also gave birth to two children, was removed from her parents’ custody after an appeal was upheld by the California Supreme Court, according to the American Bar Journal. The decision was based on a California law that allows children to be removed from their parent’s home even if there is no wrongdoing on the parent’s behalf or failure to supervise their child. If you are in this situation, contact a San Jose custody attorney for help today.

Neglect Is Not Relevant, Only Failure to Supervise

Whether or not a parent neglects their supervising responsibilities, their child can be removed from the home if they are found to be at serious risk of harm as a result of failed parental supervision. This means that even if a parent who does all that they can reasonably do to keep their child out of trouble and safe and provide a stable and loving home life, it may still not be enough.

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California custody attorneyOne of the greatest challenges that parents face during divorce is keeping their feelings under control, and keeping their mouths shut when discussing the other parent in front of their children. Children are smarter and more intuitive than we often give them credit for. Even a young toddler still learning to speak can sense the hostility that is being directed toward a parent when the other is talking about them behind their back. Alienating a parent has life-long lasting implications for children, causing low self-esteem, self-hatred, depression, substance abuse, lack of trust, and more. It is in your best interest to contact a Santa Clara County custody attorney to discuss the dos and don’ts of how to behave during a child custody battle.

Posting Online

It is important to remember that the other party can and will use everything to their advantage. This means that if you post negative comments, send threatening emails or texts, or come off as the bitter, angry party, it will be used to your disadvantage. Keeping a calm demeanor is both important in the courtroom, as well as out.

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California custody lawyerMany may be surprised to find out that the vast majority of child abductions are initiated by parents and family members. In fact, the most common cause of child abduction is during a child custody dispute between parents or families. To be sure, 78 percent of all family child abductors are noncustodial parents of that child, according to Child Find of America. If your child has been abducted, or you have been accused of abduction as a parent, you need to seek legal help at once from a San Jose family law attorney.

Parental Child Abduction

Only 115 cases of missing children or abductions involved an abduction from a complete stranger, which amounts to one-one-hundredth of one percent, according to the Washington Post. Most children either get temporarily lost on their own or are taken by a family member, usually a parent. That parent, who is typically the noncustodial parent, although in some cases may not bet, abducts their own child because they:

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California custody attorney, California family law attorneyThe responsibility of legal custody is one of the most important decisions a family court judge makes. If you are given legal custody, you will be responsible for making all of the decisions, such as health care, school, travel, and more, for your child, according to California Courts. Because of this responsibility, it is imperative to prove to the court that you have your child’s best interest at heart. During a child custody contest, it is important to avoid some of the more common mistakes that many parents make. The California court will always make its decision in favor of the child’s best interest. As such, that decision is largely based on the stability of the parent’s physical, mental, and financial well-being. The court looks at the care that each parent is able to provide for the child, potential help from family members, which parent will be better equipped to ensure a safe home, as well as other criteria such as proximity to quality schools and the wishes of the child if the child is old enough to have an opinion. While there is no set guideline of what a parent should do leading up to and during a custody battle, an experienced attorney will provide invaluable guidance and legal counsel throughout the process. The San Jose child custody attorneys of Gemma V. Reyes Law are here to provide assistance in your time of need.

The California court will always make its decision in favor of the child’s best interest. As such, that decision is largely based on the stability of the parent’s physical, mental, and financial well-being. The court looks at the care that each parent is able to provide for the child, potential help from family members, which parent will be better equipped to ensure a safe home, as well as other criteria such as proximity to quality schools and the wishes of the child if the child is old enough to have an opinion. While there is no set guideline of what a parent should do leading up to and during a custody battle, an experienced attorney will provide invaluable guidance and legal counsel throughout the process. The San Jose child custody attorneys of Gemma V. Reyes Law are here to provide assistance in your time of need.

Never Make False Statements

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California custody attorney, California family law attorneyParents who are bound to the legal obligations and responsibilities set forth by family court owe it to their child and the child’s custodial parent to uphold visitation agreements. However, it is not uncommon that visitation orders are disobeyed. This causes unnecessary emotional stress on you as the custodial parent, and furthermore, your child as well. If you are struggling with a parent that is continually violating their visitation order, contact an experienced family law attorney at once. A skilled attorney will come up with a solution that is in the best interest of your child’s well-being and help protect your interests throughout each step of the process.

What Constitutes a Visitation Violation?

You may not see eye to eye on everything that the child’s other parent does or the specific activities that they do with the child. Letting a 12-year-old watch a PG-13 movie in the other room while the parent cooks dinner probably would not constitute a visitation violation in any family court. Such an agreement may be held between both parents, informally, but unless it is ordered by the court, it will not be a mandate under the law. However, if the parent fails to adhere to the specific terms provided in the visitation order, they may find themselves in trouble, as the court treats visitation violations, and the well-being of the child, very seriously. Some common examples of violations are as follows:

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