Protecting your rights as a parent

Child custody is often one of the most challenging legal matters parents can face. Nothing is more important than children, and the prospect of losing the right to raise your children is frightening. At the Law Office of Vincent S. Hughes in San Bernardino, our compassionate family law attorney is dedicated to protecting parental rights and can offer the legal advice and guidance you need, and help you pursue the most favorable results for your case. Reach out to us today to schedule a consultation.

What Are the “best interests of a child?”

The term "best interests of the child" is often used in family law and child-related cases. It is a term that encompasses a variety of factors, including:

  • The age of the child: Although this has been given less weight in recent years, there are some situations in which a child's age may factor into a custody decision. For example, if a baby is still nursing and solely dependent on the mother for care, this would be given much consideration. 
  • The parent's living situation: When a parent moves out of the family home, it could harm their chances of obtaining custody. For example, if you are staying with a friend, living in a hotel, or moving relatively far away, you would likely need to reestablish a living situation that is more child friendly if you are pursuing custody or visitation rights.
  • The parent's relationship with the children: Although it is common for the court to encourage parents to be more present in their children's lives, judges often consider the relationship before parents file for divorce as a baseline. If you were always very involved in the lives of your children, you would have a better chance of obtaining custody.
  • The preferences of the child: If your children are older (age 12 or older), the judge may privately ask them what their preference is. Although the child's preference may be considered, a judge will ultimately choose the parent who could provide better care.
  • Stability: Family courts believe stability is essential for children. In many cases, the parent who can best maintain consistency and stability during and after the divorce would likely have an advantage.

If there is evidence that a parent abused or neglected their children, a judge will likely significantly limit the children's contact with that parent. 

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Presenting your case in court

It is important to demonstrate in court that you have been actively involved in your children's lives and have always been dedicated to giving them loving and attentive care. For example, if you help your children do their homework, attend parent-teacher meetings, or participate in extracurricular activities, these are great examples of how you have shown an interest in your children's upbringing.

Demonstrating your willingness to foster and encourage your children's relationship with the other parent is also crucial. Appearing contentious or hostile toward your ex in court is never helpful.

Schedule a case evaluation with attorney Vincent Hughes today.

If you are in a child custody dispute, the legal team at the Law Office of Vincent S. Hughes in San Bernardino is prepared to help you navigate the family court system and provide one-on-one, honest, responsive counsel. Our family lawyer is experienced in assisting clients through some of the most emotionally charged legal matters, providing guidance, support, and advice, and talented legal representation in family court during this difficult time. Call our team today to schedule a consultation.

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