When you get divorced in California, you’ll want to ensure that you can spend as much time with your child as possible. This means applying for joint custody with your spouse or sole custody if you believe you can provide the most stable environment. Either way, you’ll have to start by opening a family court case.
How can you get physical custody of your child?
To start, you’ll have to open a family court case if you don’t have one already. Your family law attorney could help you open a case and prepare for your day in court. You’ll have to fill out paperwork, request a child custody order and find a third party to serve your former spouse with the court papers.
As you prepare for your court hearing, you’ll have to gather evidence that shows that you can provide the best environment for your child. This doesn’t mean figuring out ways to make your former spouse look bad. Instead, you’ll want to show the judge why you deserve joint or sole physical custody. If you have reason to believe that your former spouse is an abusive parent, you’ll have to provide strong evidence. Most judges want the child to maintain a relationship with both parents.
After your hearing, a judge will decide who gets custody of your child. If you get joint custody, your next step will be figuring out a parenting plan with your former spouse. If you get sole custody, your former spouse might have to pay child support.
Can you represent yourself in a child custody case?
You could represent yourself in a child custody case, but what happens during this case has a major impact on your child’s future. One mistake could cause the judge to rule in favor of your former spouse instead of you. An attorney could help you present the strongest possible case in court.