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Your Legal Advocate In Child-Related Family Law Cases

Child-related issues are a large part of family law practice. From custody and parenting time arrangements after a divorce to paternity and adoption, the decisions made in family court can have lifelong impacts on you and your family.

When you have a legal issue that involves a child, the representation you choose is vitally important. At Lord & Brooker, APC, we understand how complicated and overwhelming these issues can be. We offer straightforward and compassionate legal guidance to help you and your family achieve your goals. With decades of combined experience, you can trust our family law attorneys to advocate for you and your children.

Approaching Your Case With Compassion And Respect

Family law cases involving children, including child custody and adoption, are often difficult and tumultuous. At Lord & Brooker, APC, we approach every case with compassion and respect. Especially when children are aware and involved in the legal process, it can have a considerable strain on your family. We strive to provide straightforward solutions that resolve your case in a timely manner while keeping your goals in mind.

We can help you with a variety of child-related family law matters, including:

  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Parenting time
  • Adoption
  • Paternity

Resolving a child-related family law case requires more than legal knowledge and experience. It also requires compassion and the ability to effectively represent you to avoid causing more stress to your family. If you are going through a divorce, we can help you from your initial filing to fighting for custody of your children in or out of the courtroom.

California Child Custody FAQ

Parents have many questions about how their divorce will affect their rights and their children’s living situation. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions we hear.

Does California guarantee joint custody?

No, California does not have a joint child custody presumption. The law encourages joint custody between parents, but ultimately the arrangement must be considered to be in the child’s best interests. In cases where one parent is unfit or unable to provide the child with a safe, loving environment to live in, or when the parents live far apart, sole custody for one parent might be the best solution.

Do you have to have legal paternity to get custody?

While the biological father’s rights generally come first, a nonbiological father such as a stepfather can seek joint custody or visitation rights. He has the right to file a petition in family court and submit evidence that he has been directly involved in the child’s life and is partly responsible for the child’s physical and emotional well-being. The nonbiological father might also need to show that the biological father is an unfit parent or is unwilling to live up to his responsibilities.

Can you adopt your stepchild in California?

Stepparent adoption generally is possible in one of three ways. First, a noncustodial parent can consent and willingly give up their parental rights. The second option occurs when the other parent is the children’s alleged father and fails to respond to notice of the stepparent’s intention to adopt. Finally, in cases when the noncustodial parent objects, a court hearing usually is needed to determine whether the noncustodial parent’s parental rights should be terminated so the adoption can proceed.

There are some exceptions where you would not need consent nor a parental rights termination to adopt your stepchild:

  • The noncustodial parent has died.
  • The noncustodial parent signs a waiver saying they do not want to get involved in the adoption.
  • The noncustodial parent signs a document stating they are not the child’s biological parent.
  • You searched for the noncustodial parent but could not find them.
  • The noncustodial parent’s identity is unknown despite efforts to find them.

We Will Do What It Takes To Help Your Family

When you have a legal issue that involves children, contact the family law attorneys at Lord & Brooker, APC, for compassionate and straightforward legal guidance and representation. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys by calling 951-666-2367 or completing our online contact form. With offices in Redlands, Riverside and Temecula, we are ready to discuss your case.