Woodland Hills Child Custody Attorney
An Experienced Advocate Protecting Your Parent-Child Relationship in LA & Ventura Counties
Child custody matters are one of the toughest to handle, as the outcome largely determines your relationship with your child in the future. At the Law Office of Ali Ziai, we are committed to fighting for parents and their legal and physical custody rights to their children. Whether you are in the midst of a custody battle or seek to modify an existing order, we can help you navigate the legal process. If you and the other parent are on amicable terms, we can help you draft a mutual agreement that meets your child’s best interests. If you and the other parent are on adversarial terms, we will put up a strong battle for your parental rights.
Schedule a free consultation with the Law Office of Ali Ziai online or at (818) 600-6477 to learn more about how we can help.
Legal and Physical Custody
California offers two kinds of child custody:
- Legal custody: Legal authority to make important decisions for your child (e.g., healthcare, education, welfare)
- Physical custody: Who your child will primarily reside with
Both types of custody can be held solely by one parent or jointly by both parents. Note that joint physical custody does not necessarily mean the child will spend exactly half the time with each parent; it is commonly the case for a child to spend a little more time with one parent (the “custodial parent”) than the other.
The Child’s Best Interests
California law requires that custody evaluations begin with a presumption that both parents are equally entitled to custody of the child — a judge cannot be biased towards the mother or father before hearing the case.
To decide on the custody arrangement, the court will consider what is in the child’s best interests, which includes factors like:
- The child's health, safety, and welfare
- The child’s preference (if 14 years or older)
- Whether either parent has a history of abuse against the child or the other parent
- The nature and amount of contact with both parents
- Whether either parent has a history of illegal use of controlled substances, alcohol, or prescribed medications
- Any other factor that the court deems relevant
“What sets Ali apart from some of the other attorneys I have had experience with, and probably from most attorneys, actually, are his communication skills and his compassion for his clients.”
Over time, the original custody order may no longer meet the child’s needs as it once did. Naturally, your child grows and develops different needs, and you may also experience changes in circumstances that an old custody order no longer appropriately addresses. Under California law, either parent has the right to request a modification of a custody order in such a situation.
Parents may agree mutually to change the custody order and jointly submit a new custody proposal to the court for approval. If only one parent wishes to modify the custody order, they will have to file a formal petition for modification with the court. In the latter case, the requesting parent must prove that there has been a significant change of circumstances since the last order that requires a change to the current arrangement to better meet the child’s best interests. California courts prioritize stability for children, so the judge will likely only approve a modification if the requesting parent’s reason is significant enough to impact the child's life for the better.
If you have questions about negotiating a custody arrangement or modifying an existing order, do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Ali Ziai. We will work patiently and compassionately with you to guide you through the emotionally draining process of custody negotiations. Let us handle the legal side while you focus on your relationship with your child.
Put your parent-child relationship in safe hands with the Law Office of Ali Ziai. We will do our best to advocate for a favorable custody negotiation. Call (818) 600-6477 or contact us online today.