FAQ on Child Custody
Counsel from Our Pasadena & Beverly Hills Family Law Attorney
When you get a divorce, you may fear that your relationship with your child will be forever damaged, but we believe that it doesn't have to be this way. At The Graves Law Firm, we want to give our clients an informed approach to child custody so they are prepared when the time comes and can continue fostering their relationship no matter what happens.
Get in touch with our Pasadena & Beverly Hills child custody lawyer today for a personal advocate.
What is the difference between physical and legal custody?
Physical custody is the arrangement that determines where the child will live and how often they spend time with each parent. Legal custody gives one or both parents the ability to make major decisions for the child, such as healthcare and religious affiliation.
Can my child have a say in the final custody arrangements?
It depends on their age. The court usually considers the input of children who are 12 years of age or older. While they still won't have the final say-so, their desires will have an impact on how custody is split up.
Is it okay if I move out of state with my child?
Generally, no. Anytime a divorce is filed in court, orders go into effect that forbid either parent from moving out of state with the children without an order from the court. Once your custody orders are finalized, you may have to show that a move is in the best interests of the child before gaining the court's approval.
What should our parenting plan include?
A parenting plan essentially lays out the details of custody and visitation. The more detailed your plan, the better. Include schedules for weekdays and weekends, school vacations, birthdays, and holidays. You can even address the issue of transportation and any anticipated changes to the schedule.
My ex-spouse is breaking our custody order. Now what?
This is a very serious issue, because a child custody order is a legal order straight from the court. If your ex-spouse is not following the terms of your order, you have several options: call the police and ask for assistance, request support from your attorney, or file an action for "contempt" with the court. This last option is the most severe and can inflict consequences on the parent in question.
Does the court have to help us create a child custody order?
No! Courts actually encourage parents to work together to create an arrangement that both are happy with and reflects the best interests of the child. Only when you can't agree does the court step in to make the final decisions.
I chose Attorney Demetria Graves for my divorce attorney based on what she said that she would try to accomplish for me. Well, all I can say is that she definitely delivered, and I am - once again- in control of my life. Thanks Demetria! - Ton Nelson- Ton Nelson
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Demetria for the excellent work I received from her firm. When I first came to her office with my child custody case, I was distraught and afraid of what was to come in the months ahead. She was considerate and compassionate and best of all she gave me hope, which I had not received from any other attorney. I can not thank Demetria enough for the strength and guidance she provided me. I was very pleased with the results of my case, and highly recommend her firm. - Aurora- Aurora
I have a small girl whom I've been completely involved with since her birth, despite her mother and I having never been married. We had a mutual agreement that the courts never needed to be involved, and everything would be 50/50. But eventually she filed for full custody, demanding I see my little girl 2 days a month. All this after 3 years without incident. Frankly, I was scared. She had retained an attorney, but I could not afford one. We ultimately came to an agreement which held briefly. I thought my child was residing out of town with her mother for 4 months, when in fact, she was only 12 minutes away. At this point I immediately asked a friend in the law field for help. That friend came up with Demetria L. Graves. Upon meeting Ms. Graves, I was immediately impressed with her demeanor. Previous potential counselors were unnecessarily "cut-throat." One went as far as to say "I'll get you full custody and MAKE her pay you support. We'll stick it to her!" This coming from a lawyer at a large and well-to-do firm. Demetria asked me what I wanted, as opposed to telling me what to do just to get even. She understood my position and respected it. Demetria also never hesitated to tell me when my approach to the situation was wrong. She moved quickly and her assistant, Sabrina, kept me informed every step of the way, via phone, email, and mail. Access to her newsletter led me to hold Demetria in even higher regard as a person truly dedicated to their field and wanting to help others understand it. I now have joint custody of my little girl, with equal time/expenses shared. All I wanted was fair treatment for my Baby Girl, which is; both parents in her life. I have, and will continue to refer Demetria Graves to anyone in need of counsel. - Crescen Bacon- Crescen Bacon
I came into Attorney Graves office as I imagine most do, at one of the worst times in my life. I was full of anger and questions, and I needed help. Demetria started answering my questions, and immediately helped me understand the process and the best ways to get through it. Ms. Graves was there to assist, advise and guide me through this very difficult time. She offered more than just legal counsel; she gave me a heads up as to what I might expect to see plus ways to handle the situations and people. She was there to help me get the best results, and came through every time, including helping me retain custody of my three kids. I have already recommended her to several people and will continue to do so. - Brian Beck- Brian Beck
I would like to thank the law office of Demetria Graves. You never know what life can throw at you, and contacting an attorney can be a sensitive time. When I first contacted the office, I was greeted by the staff with warmth and professionalism, and compassion. I appreciated this very much. In the event should I need legal services again, I will contact her office. Once again, thank you for the services regarding my case. - Amy Roberts- Amy Roberts
I went to the Law office of Demetria Graves to discuss a unique and somewhat embarrassing situation regarding child support. Ms Graves sat down with me and took the time to fully understand my problem. Demetria handled my case in a completely professional manner and helped me get through this very unforeseen case. - Anonymous- Anonymous
At each of our meetings the interest Demetria took, coupled with the way she listened to my personal situation gave her the facts she needed to produce an excellent strategy that proved to be invaluable and ultimately brought us success in court. That was such a happy day for me. One that I have replayed in my mind time and time again. I would definitely, without hesitation, retain Demetria again if any situation arose in my life where I needed legal assistance because she is a brilliant attorney armed with an essence of quality, professionalism and who gets results! - Charlesetta M. Long- Charlesetta M. Long
I cannot express enough my gratitude for the efforts made to my case. Demetria was truly attentive, patient and essentially was able to close my case with ease. I am very appreciative of her efforts and will most definitely call her should I need her services again. - John Williams- John Williams