No One Wins A Child Custody Fight
You both want what’s best for your child, but you may disagree on what that means or how to make co-parenting work. At The Law Office of Richard M. Abdallah, we help you strike the right balance in these complex and highly emotional disputes. We protect your parental rights and your child’s best interests while guiding you to workable parenting arrangements in the aftermath of divorce. Our goal is to avoid custody litigation if possible because of the toll it takes on the children as well as the adults.
Richard Abdallah has a client-centered approach, based on his focused experience in family law. He will take the time to understand your family dynamics and what is most important to you regarding child custody and related matters, to guide you to custom solutions. We serve the Greater Sacramento area and Northern California.
How The Courts View Custody And Parenting Time
Legal custody refers to the power to make significant life decisions about the child’s health care, education and religious upbringing. Typically the court awards joint legal custody, requiring the parents to consult each other about such decisions.
Physical custody refers to which parent the child lives with. Increasingly, the courts favor joint physical custody as well, but that does not necessarily mean 50-50 time in each house. Typically one parent will be awarded primary physical custody and the other parent is awarded parenting time (“visitation”). Sole physical custody is rarely awarded unless one parent is absent or deemed unfit.
The California courts require parents to attempt mediation to reach an agreement on parenting arrangements. If you cannot agree, the mediator will submit their recommendations to the court. The court considers many factors, but the overriding theme in deciding custody and parenting time is in the child’s best interests.
Working Out The Parenting Plan
Richard Abdallah encourages clients to embrace mediation, at least to find common ground and define the remaining conflicts. In a contested custody situation, he will fight for your right to stay involved in your child’s life. Beyond the big issue of primary custody, many disputes arise from the day-to-day details of co-parenting.
We help you anticipate and resolve those important details, such as pick-up and drop-off schedules, summer vacation and camps, holidays and other celebrations, extracurriculars and school events, communication with the other parent, ground rules and discipline, and all other facets of the parenting plan. The goal is not to “win” but to reach a practical agreement that accommodates the new realities of your family.
Child Support And Post-Divorce Modifications
California statute dictates child support, based on the gross incomes of the parents, the number of children and the amount of parenting time. Our role is to make sure that the court has accurate income information to ensure fairness, or to argue for deviations from the formula, such as special needs of the child or incomes that exceed the child support guidelines.
We also represent either parent in proceedings to revisit family court orders such as:
- Modification of child support
- Parent relocation (moving the children away from Northern California)
- Petitions for sole custody
- Modification of parenting time
- Interference with visitation rights
- Enforcement of child support, including paternity actions
These are hot-button issues. We always try to resolve disputes out of court when possible, but Richard Abdallah is prepared to press your case in contested proceedings.
Get Customized Solutions For Your Family
We recognize that every family is unique. We deliver individualized advice and strong legal support to help your family move forward. Call our law office in Sacramento at 916-407-0894 or contact us online to arrange a consultation.
We practice in the family courts of Sacramento County and surrounding counties in Northern California.