Child Custody & Parenting Time

Child custody may matter the most, but it can also be the toughest issue to navigate.

Custody 101

After parents separate, a parenting plan is usually established and filed as an order of the family court. The necessary elements include who has decision-making authority (legal custody), with whom the children will live (physical custody), and the plan for when the children will be with each parent (parenting time or visitation).

Private or court-based child custody recommending counseling (CCRC), also known as Family Court Services mediation, is often necessary to assist parents in reaching an agreement. A report by the CCRC counselor provides the court with relevant information. In most counties, the CCRC also "recommends" an order, if no agreement is reached. At hearing, the recommendation may be adopted, with or without changes, either as a permanent order or as a temporary order pending trial. Strong legal advocacy can be critical at this stage.

Sometimes emergency (ex parte) orders can be obtained on a short-term basis without following the above process first, when necessary to prevent serious harm. Occasionally custody issues are too complex to decide without a custody evaluation conducted by a psychologist. Such a process can include an in-depth study of the people and issues involved and appropriate psychological testing.

A Firm Offering Both Legal Skill and Compassion

It is important to have knowledgeable legal counsel to properly prepare you for interviews, and guide you in providing adequate input to the professionals involved in the custody determination process. I work hard to ensure my clients understand all the nuances of the process and are fully prepared at every stage. Being informed helps reduce the understandable stress and anxiety of the process.

A powerful legal advocate also can make a difference by producing desirable orders after the report(s) are completed. I am an experienced custody lawyer, skilled in negotiating low-conflict solutions, and in vigorously representing my clients in court.

Call to Get Started

The Law Office of Linda D. States is located in Sacramento, and I proudly serve clients in Placer, El Dorado, Yolo and Sacramento counties and beyond. To discuss your case with an experienced child custody lawyer, call me at 916-426-9119. You can also request an appointment through my online contact form.