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Experienced Family Law Attorneys Contact Us to Protect Your Rights to Child Custody

San Jose Child Custody Lawyer

Effective Solutions to Complex Custody Disputes in San Jose

In a divorce, legal separation, or a parentage / paternity action, child custody is one of the most disputed issues. Parents who have decided to split up, often find it difficult to agree on who should have custody over their children and what type of visitation schedule works for both parties and is in the best interest of the children.

At Magdalena Law Group, our San Jose custody attorneys recognize the harm and trauma that drawn-out custody battles can have on parents and children. You owe it to your children to resolve your disputes in a dignified and respectful manner.

We can help you settle your custody matter fairly and amicably anywhere in Santa Clara County or present your case to the court and vigorously advocate for your children's best interests. Call (408) 601-4439 today or contact us online to get started.

How Is Child Custody and Visitation Decided in California?

If you and your spouse are not able to work out an agreement, then a judge will decide for you. Neither the mother or the father is presumed to be the better caretaker - the judge will make an objective decision based on the child's best interests.

Factors that affect custody arrangements:

  • Ability of each parent to care for the child
  • The living situation at each parent's house
  • The relationship the child has with each parent
  • Any history of domestic violence or abuse in a household
  • The age and health of the child

How to Prove a Parent Unfit in CA

While California judges will always try and have both parents in the lives of their children, sometimes the best interests and well-being of the kids are at risk. This can be because of one parent being ruled as “unfit”.

To help determine whether a parent is unfit, a court may examine the following:

  • The level of involvement that the parent has shown in the child’s life
  • Can the parent provide a safe living environment for the child
  • The feelings and preferences of the child(ren)
  • Evidence of child abuse or neglect
  • History of alcohol or substance abuse
  • A mental illness that may inhibit the parent from carrying out their role
  • Current and previous domestic violence

It is important to remember that the accusation of one parent being unfit is a serious claim. You should speak with our attorney prior to doing this, as there needs to be substantial amounts of proof to have the court rule in your favor.

What Are the Different Types of Child Custody in California?

No two custody cases are the same. In order to meet the unique circumstances and needs of each family, California family law recognizes physical custody and legal custody, which are awarded with the children's best interests in mind.

Physical Custody

A parent or parents can have physical custody of a child if the child lives with the parent for a substantial amount of time. If the child lives almost exclusively with one parent, that parent will usually have "sole physical custody" of the child. If both parents care for the child for a substantial amount of time, then both parents would have a "joint physical custody."

Legal Custody

Legal custody allows a parent to make important legal decisions on behalf the child, including:

  • Education (where the child goes to school)
  • Medical care (which doctor, dentist, the child will see)
  • Religious affiliation
  • Extracurricular activities enrollment
  • Passport issuance
  • And more

If one parent is not fit to make decisions on behalf of the child, there is a high level of conflict between the parents or if domestic violence occurred in the household, then the other parent can be granted sole legal custody. If both parents are fit and can make joint decisions in the best interests of the child, then typically both parents will share joint legal custody.

Can a Custodial Parent Deny the Non-Custodial Parent Visitation?

Frequent and continuing contact with a child is generally desired for the child's parents as long as the parents are "fit" to care for the child. Visitation rights are frequently subject to court orders.

If a parent denies another parent visitation pursuant to a court order in place, then this constitutes a violation of a court order, which may be punishable by:

  • Civil penalties
  • Criminal penalties
  • Or both

If the other parent is blocking your access to your child, a lawyer can assist you with enforcing the order.

Get in Touch with a Custody Attorney in San Jose, CA

If you have questions about your custody matter or if you need assistance resolving a complex custody battle, feel free to consult our Santa Clara County child custody attorneys. Our legal team is lead by a Certified Family Law Specialist and is well equipped to assist you with your child custody matter.

Our goal is to ensure the focus remains on what is best for your family and your children. We work closely with you to help achieve a desirable outcome for your case.

Hear What Our Former Clients Have to Say

5 / 5 stars
Magdalena is an extremely professional, caring, and reliable attorney. I was in the middle of a messy custody battle when I contacted her for legal advice. Her thorough and unbiased approach to my situation prepared me for all of the possible outcomes which ultimately alleviated many of my concerns. I will definitely contact Magdalena Law Group if I'm ever in need again, and I highly recommend her to anyone in need of assistance. Thank you Magdalena for everything.”

Why Choose Magdalena Law Group

  • Led by a Certified Family Law Specialist

  • Experienced Courtroom Litigators on Your Side

  • Effective, Caring & Innovative Counsel

  • Multi-Lingual Legal Services Offered

Hear from Our Former Clients

  • “Magdalena and her group worked longs hours on my case. She showed how much she cared about her clients.”


  • “Not only did she fix the paperwork mess, but also found the solution to get money out of my ex without prolonging the procedures and charging an arm and a leg for it.”

    Divorce Client

  • “Her thorough and unbiased approach to my situation prepared me for all of the possible outcomes which ultimately alleviated many of my concerns.”


  • “She explained things in great detail and was happy to answer all my questions. ”

    Former Client

  • “ It was very helpful to me knowing she is seeing me not as one more case in her carrier, but a person who is dealing with a complicated problem.”

    Former Client