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Los Angeles, CA Child custody lawyers (352 attorneys, 2903 reviews)

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  • Babak Farzad
    Farzad & Ochoa Family Law Attorneys, LLP
    633 W. 5th Street, 26th Floor, Los Angeles, CA
    5.0 stars 19 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 10  
    Licensed
    Honesty, integrity and result focused advocacy.
  • Karen Brown
    Open for Business

    Open for Business

    Attorneys that have confirmed to Avvo that they are open during this time are marked "Open for business" on their profile. We recommend that you contact the attorney directly to determine hours and availability.
    Virtual Consultation

    Virtual Consultation

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    Law Office of Karen S. Brown
    10866 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 400, Los Angeles, CA
    4.5 stars 9 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 10  
    Licensed
    Call me for contentious child custody disputes, including move-aways and special needs children.

    Practice area
    30% Child custody, 30% Divorce and separation, 10% Child support, and more.

    Cost
    Free Consultation
    Some lawyers offer a free consultation to help determine whether their services are right for your legal needs
    30 minutes

    License
    CA, Active since 1975

  • Maryam Atighechi
    Atighechi Law Group, APC
    9465 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 300, Los Angeles, CA
    5.0 stars 42 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 10  
    Licensed
    Highly Experienced in the Most Complex Custody Matters Call 310-498-1057
  • Jackie Abboud
    Jackie A. Abboud, APLC
    1999 Avenue of the Stars, Ste 1100, Los Angeles, CA
    5.0 stars 38 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 10  
    Licensed
    Handling All Divorce/Family Law Matters Throughout Beverly Hills and LA County.
  • Hossein Berenji
    Berenji & Associates
    550 S. Hill Street, STE 1467, Los Angeles, CA
    5.0 stars 10 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 10  
    Licensed
    Dedicated Family Law lawyer assisting those going through divorce and custody disputes. Call today.
  • David Glass
    Enenstein Pham & Glass
    12121 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 600, Los Angeles, CA
    5.0 stars 20 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 10  
    Licensed
    Experienced Family Law (CFLS) Attorney with a PhD in Clinical Psychology
  • Alexandra Lavinsky
    Lavinsky Law
    12121 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 501, Los Angeles, CA
    5.0 stars 50 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 10  
    Licensed
    Lavinsky Law is a distinguished family law firm providing superior legal representation.
  • Nathalie Paluch
    Lauzon Paluch
    2049 Century Park East, Suite 850, Los Angeles, CA
    5.0 stars 6 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 10  
    Licensed
      Dedicated exclusively to helping clients resolve family law and custody disputes, Ms. Paluch, a Certified Family Law Specialist, is passionate about bringing peace of mind to her clients involved in complex family law matters involving child sup...
  • Elizabeth Yang
    Law & Mediation Offices of Elizabeth Yang
    555 S. Flower St. 51st Floor, Los Angeles, CA
    5.0 stars 28 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 10  
    Licensed
    LA’s Premier Law Offices for Divorce, Child Support, Child Custody, Patent, Copyright and Trademark!
  • Beatrice Fung
    SHERMAN & FUNG, A PROFESSIONAL LAW CORPORATION
    13101 W Washington Blvd, Ste 108, Los Angeles, CA
    5.0 stars 29 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 8.6  
    Licensed
    My practice is devoted to family law and juvenile dependency law (child abuse). In my family law practice, I litigate issues in child custody and visitation; child support; spousal support; and asset and liability distribution. In my juvenile depe...
  • Randi Klein
    Open for Business

    Open for Business

    Attorneys that have confirmed to Avvo that they are open during this time are marked "Open for business" on their profile. We recommend that you contact the attorney directly to determine hours and availability.
    Virtual Consultation

    Virtual Consultation

    Attorneys that have confirmed to Avvo that they are available for a phone or video consultation have "Virtual Consultation" on their profile. We recommend that you contact the attorney directly to determine hours and availability.
    Randi Susan Klein, Attorney at Law
    1055 West 7th Street, 33rd Floor Penthouse, Los Angeles, CA
    5.0 stars 16 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 8.8  
    Licensed
    Aggressive, Compassionate, Effective Representation. Call Today! 213-634-1746

    Practice area
    20% Child custody, 60% Divorce and separation, 10% Bankruptcy and debt, and more.

    Cost

    License
    CA, Active since 1991

  • R. Michael Collum
    R. MICHAEL COLLUM, A LAW CORPORATION
    3435 WILSHIRE BOULEVARD, Suite 2600, LOS ANGELES, CA
    5.0 stars 11 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 9.5  
    Licensed
    Civil Litigator and Certified Family Law Specialist. Licensed since 1989. Free Consult 323-629-4831
  • Gerard Fierro
    Law Offices of Gerard A Fierro
    355 S Grand Ave Ste 2450, Los Angeles, CA
    5.0 stars 8 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 9.3  
    Licensed
    Established in 1988. For more than 30 years, Mr. Fierro have been successfully representing clients in complex family law matters in all courts in the Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan area.  The Law Offices of Gerard A Fierro is dedicated to provi...
  • Warren Shiell
    Law Offices of Warren R. Shiell
    1875 Century Park East Suite 600, Los Angeles, CA
    5.0 stars 16 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 10  
    Licensed
    We handle everything all aspects of divorce and family law from simple uncontested divorces to high conflict and high net worth divorces involving extensive assets and complex child custody issues such as relocations and custody evaluations. We wo...
  • Kate Gillespie
    The Gillespie Law Firm
    11111 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 1700, Los Angeles, CA
    5.0 stars 22 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 10  
    Licensed
    My practice is devoted to assisting families and individual family members.  My priority is to guide clients through the trauma of family law matters and when possible de-escalate the variety of issues involved in any divorce or custody matter.  W...
  • Talitha Wegner
    Davies Wegner Law
    11661 San Vicente Boulevard, Suite 710, Los Angeles, CA
    5.0 stars 26 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 10  
    Licensed
    I am a Certified Family Law Specialist.  I started Davies Wegner Law, a boutique law firm, to serve family law clients in the Los Angeles area.   Each client's needs and goals are very different and our services are individually tailored to provid...
  • Avi Levy
    Trabolsi Levy Gabbard, LLP
    9255 W. Sunset Blvd., Ste 720, Los Angeles, CA
    5.0 stars 2 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 9.9  
    Licensed
    I provide solutions to divorce and custody conflicts that are tailored to your family dynamics, financial stability and future considerations. Even in the most complex, high conflict and high-value cases, I consistently deliver practical, fair, co...
  • Teresa Beyers
    Open for Business

    Open for Business

    Attorneys that have confirmed to Avvo that they are open during this time are marked "Open for business" on their profile. We recommend that you contact the attorney directly to determine hours and availability.
    Virtual Consultation

    Virtual Consultation

    Attorneys that have confirmed to Avvo that they are available for a phone or video consultation have "Virtual Consultation" on their profile. We recommend that you contact the attorney directly to determine hours and availability.
    The Law Offices of Teresa Beyers - Los Angeles Family Law & Divorce Attorney
    355 South Grand Avenue, Ste 2450, Los Angeles, CA
    4.5 stars 23 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 8.0  
    Licensed
    We are on your side. Call for help today.

    Practice area
    20% Child custody, 40% Divorce and separation, 20% Family, and more.

    Cost

    License
    CA, Active since 2003

  • Chloe Wolman
    Davies Wegner Law
    11661 San Vicente Blvd, Suite 710, Los Angeles, CA
    5.0 stars 18 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 10  
    Licensed
    Chloe S. Wolman is a Partner at Davies Wegner Law.  Chloe represents clients in all aspects of family law litigation including divorce, paternity, child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support, restraining orders and prenuptial agre...
  • Nathan Gabbard
    TRABOLSI | LEVY | GABBARD, LLP
    9255 Sunset Blvd., Suite 720, Los Angeles, CA
    4.5 stars 11 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 10  
    Licensed
    Attorney Nathan W. Gabbard is a partner and practicing attorney at Trabolsi | Levy | Gabbard LLP, who routinely assist Los Angeles residents with several family law cases, including divorce, child custody, spousal support, same-sex family law matt...

CHILD CUSTODY IN LOS ANGELES

If you’re going through a divorce with children, you’ll need to determine where and with whom your children will live. A child custody lawyer can help you negotiate custody, either by agreement or in court. If you as parents can’t agree on child custody, a judge will decide for you. Continue reading to learn more about the process and costs of child custody cases in Los Angeles and California.

Types of Child Custody

Legal Custody. Legal custody refers to a parent’s right to make major decisions about a child's welfare, health, and education, including:

-where a child will go to school

-whether a child will engage in religious activities, and

-whether a child should receive medical care (except in emergency situations).

Joint vs. Sole Legal Custody. Legal custody can be shared (joint) or sole. In California, joint legal custody means that both parents share in the right and responsibility to make decisions relating to the health, education, and welfare of a child. Joint legal custody is very common in California. The fact that parents share joint legal custody, however, doesn’t mean they will share joint physical custody.

Sole legal custody means that only one parent has the right to make all major decisions relating to the child and can do so without the other parent's input. The fact that a parent has sole legal custody doesn’t mean that parent will also have sole physical custody.

Physical Custody. Physical custody refers to where a child will live after a divorce or separation. The parent with physical custody has the right to have the child physically present in the home. If a child lives exclusively or primarily with one parent, that parent is usually referred to as the custodial parent, while the other is the noncustodial parent and typically has visitation rights.

Joint vs. Sole Physical Custody. Joint physical custody means that both parents have significant periods of physical custody. If a child's time is divided equally—or close to equally—between the parents, they are sharing joint physical custody.

Sole physical custody means a child resides with one parent, subject to the court's authority to order visitation time with the other.

How Is Child Custody Determined?

In California, judges decide custody according to what is in the best interest of the child. To decide a child’s best interests, the court will consider many factors, including:

-the child’s age and health

-the emotional ties between each parent and the child

-the ability of each parent to care for the child

-any history of family violence or substance abuse, and

-the child’s ties to school, home, and community.

Legal Custody. Parents usually share joint legal custody, unless one of the following is true: the parents are completely unable to make decisions together

-one parent is deemed unfit

-one parent is incapable of making decisions regarding the welfare of the child, or

-it would be in the child’s best interests for only one parent to have sole legal custody.

Physical Custody. When deciding physical custody, courts will determine the child's best interests. In most cases, courts strive for equal—or close to equal—parenting time, because it’s usually in the child’s best interests to have continuing and meaningful contact with both parents. In other cases, sole physical custody with or without visitation to the other parent may be appropriate. For example, if a parent has a history of domestic violence or abuse, courts may order that all visits with the child be supervised by an approved third party.

What Goes Into a Custody Agreement?

In California, a custody agreement is referred to as a parenting plan. Generally, a parenting plan should cover physical custody (or time-share) and include a detailed schedule for when the child will be with each parent, including: where the child will be for holidays, summer vacations, and special days like birthdays how the child will get from one parent to the other (transitions), and who will pay the costs of transportation.

Your agreement should also cover legal custody and how you will make decisions about your child’s health, education, and welfare including:

-daycare and/or which school(s) the child will attend

-whether the child will practice a certain religion, and

-how decisions about medical and dental care will be made.

If you have questions, speak to a local family law attorney for advice.

The Average Cost of Child Custody Case in California

Each family is unique, and each custody case presents its own specific circumstances, which will play a major role in how long a custody case will take and how much it might cost. When parents agree on all of their custody issues, the total cost will be on the lower end. If parents can’t agree or have a prolonged custody dispute in court, the total cost will be much higher.

While we don’t have specific data on the cost of a custody case in California, we do know that in one survey, readers who had disagreements over child support and/or custody paid an average of $15,500 in total costs—including $13,500 in attorney’s fees and $2,000 in other costs.

Attorney’s fees represent the largest chunk of divorce costs, and attorneys in Los Angeles charge higher hourly rates, so the total cost of custody cases in L.A. will be higher compared to other cities across the nation.

To read more, see Avvo's free legal advice on California child custody.