Los Angeles Child Custody Lawyer2024-04-07T06:27:04+00:00

Deciding to get a divorce is immensely difficult, but a lengthy child custody battle makes a complex process more complicated for all parties involved, especially the child. If you or someone you know needs help with any child custody situation, contact a Los Angeles child custody lawyer as soon as possible.

Contact the Dorie A. Rogers

When you first step into our offices, we will walk you through the entire process, so you will know what to expect. Taking the time to understand your family dynamics and goals, we will help you develop a strategy at our first meeting. From that point forward, we will continue to pursue your rights in accordance with our strategy whether it is with hearings or negotiations until the time of trial or conclusion by settlement.

With our strategic planning we will be prepared from the onset to accomplish our goals regardless of the challenges we encounter. Gathering all of your financial information we will collect a complete picture as we determine if outside experts should be brought in to strengthen your case. We work with a network of forensic accountants, psychologists, and investigators in order to best assist our clients in furthering their goals. We can also refer you to counselors as needed.

Child Custody vs. Child Support

The main difference between child custody and child support is that child custody deals with who has the right to make significant decisions about the child’s life. Child support is typically a monetary payment by the spouse without custody to assist in the financial responsibilities of raising the child.

The process of determining child custody and child support can be stressful and agonizing for both parents and the children affected. When you encounter the roadblock of who will have custody, hire an accomplished child custody attorney to ensure your desires are understood.

We Help You Understand Child Custody

Every situation is different when it comes to child custody. While some cases involve two parents who have sufficient resources to raise a child independently, other circumstances are not so even. No template custody arrangement can fit all circumstances, but our attorneys have dealt with all types of child custody cases. They can reach a unique agreement that fits you and your child’s lives.

When devising a parenting plan, it is wise to consider your family’s needs and the children’s well-being.

Sole Custody

Sole custody is when one parent takes care of a child most of the time. Usually, this parent has legal custody, or the full legal right to make crucial decisions for the child’s life. When it pertains to where a child will live or whom they will get their hands-on care from, this is called physical custody.

When a court grants a parent sole physical custody, it typically gives them sole legal custody as well. This practice stems from the assumption that the parent who spends the most time with the child needs to make the most choices about the child’s life or well-being and should not be required to consult the other parent.

In sole custody cases, the parent without sole custody will not have the right to make decisions about the child’s life without the other parent’s consent. Despite this, having the child completely cut off from one parent is often unwise unless they are a danger to the child. Although a parent may not have custody, visitation is still valuable and can be a right. Contact our experienced child custody lawyers for advice on navigating the tricky landscape when dealing with a sole custody arrangement.

Joint Custody

As trends over the past few decades indicate, judges favor joint custody or shared physical custody in situations where it is possible. The courts believe that children fare better when parents share parental rights and live close to each other than when one parent has full custody, and the children spend limited time with the other parent. This joint arrangement tends to lessen the stress on the children and allows them to maintain a routine and relationship with their parents.

A co-parenting plan is a standard recommendation for parents who are sharing custody. Our lawyers can help you create a co-parenting plan through custody mediation. A co-parenting plan might look like the following:

  • How much time a child will spend at each parent’s home, and when
  • How pick-ups and drop-offs between parents will work
  • How potential requests for temporary changes can happen
  • Any payment for transportation if parents live far from each other

Although joint custody and a parenting plan can be helpful, a shared custody situation can still have negatives, like the cost of maintaining two homes or the strain on children when their parents refuse to cooperate.

Other Custody Arrangements

While many custody arrangements involve either one parent having sole custody or both parents splitting joint custody, these are not the only arrangements. It would help if you worked with an attorney to determine the optimal agreement for your unique case.

If you can openly discuss what will work well for your situation with your co-parent, this could make things much easier. However, this is not possible in every situation.

Factors We Help You Consider

A judge must intervene when parents cannot agree on custody or visitation. When a judge decides the custody arrangement, their priority is the child’s well-being or best interest. Due to California law, judges consider all relevant factors.

The Child’s Best Interest

When determining a child’s best interest in Los Angeles, California, a judge will consider all aspects of the child’s life. Starting with the child’s mental, physical, and emotional health, the judge may consider how any of these elements might change with each sole custody option or a joint custody situation. It is common in California for judges to rule in favor of joint custody when they believe it will promote a healthy life for the child.

Due to the encouragement of frequent and continuing contact with both parents, the judge will look at the parents’ relationship with their child before, during, and after the divorce, if applicable.

Your history may include aspects like how much time you have spent with the child, your duties in raising the child, and your desire to perform the essential parental functions in your child’s life. Working with our attorneys can be vital in presenting your case for being a suitable parent to your child.

The Parents’ Fitness

The judge evaluates whether one parent or both can adequately raise the child. This factor helps a judge decide whether sole or joint custody could work. Having a good relationship with the child does not mean that the parent is fit, at that moment, to have custody over the child. Judges survey many elements when determining a parent’s fitness, such as:

  • Past or current role in caring for the child,
  • History of being cooperative with the other parent,
  • Past or current employment and sources of income,
  • Present dating situation,
  • History of physical or emotional abuse towards the child, and
  • History of drug abuse or illegal substance usage.

Living Situations

A parent’s living situation plays a role in sole or joint custody decisions. Although most judges avoid penalizing parents who cannot raise the child in a nice home, both parents must show that they can reasonably accommodate a child in their current living situation if they want custody.

Commonly, the judge either awards the family home to whichever parent gets sole custody or grants sole custody to the parent allowed to keep the family home.


Q: How Much Does a Child Custody Lawyer Cost in California?

A: The cost of a child custody lawyer in California is usually around $200-$500 per hour. The fee for a Los Angeles lawyer’s services depends on:

  • The lawyer’s experience,
  • The complexity of your case,
  • The lawyer’s track record, and
  • Whether you choose negotiation or litigation.

It is vital to remember that child custody lawyers spend much of their time researching and preparing documents to advocate for you, so the more preparation your case requires, the more it will cost.

Q: What Are the Chances of a Father Getting 50/50 Custody in California?

A: The chances of a father getting 50/50 custody in California are equal to the chances of a mother getting 50/50 custody. Custody decisions are based on the parents’ life situations, the child’s age and health, and other factors unrelated to the gender of a parent.

If you are seeking 50/50 custody, it is important to remember that a major factor in the custody decision is your relationship with your child and your suitability to properly raise them.

Q: How Much Does It Cost to File Child Custody Papers in California?

A: It costs $430-$450 to file child custody papers in California. When you are ready, you take your completed forms and your payment to your local clerk’s office. If you are seeking temporary orders, there is an additional fee of $60-85. In the event you cannot afford either fee, you can request a fee waiver.

Q: How Can a Father Win a Child Custody Case in California?

A: While there is no exact way to win a child custody case in California, there are some guidelines you can follow to ensure you have a good chance:

  • Being active in your child’s life, from their education to their extracurricular activities.
  • Collaborating and cooperating with your co-parent.
  • Supporting your child’s relationship with your co-parent.
  • Meeting your child’s needs in your home.
  • Taking advantage of your current visitation rights.
  • Making a great impression in court.

Your Advocate for Child Custody in Los Angeles

You do not want to be blindsided in the middle of a child custody dispute. Some parents can reach an agreement through mediation with a psychologist, marriage and family therapist, or social worker. Other parents who are unable to take those paths may seek assistance from an attorney who has experience in cases like theirs.

If you are in the midst of a child custody fight, contact The Dorie A. Rogers, APC, today. Let us help you have peace of mind in this demanding time.

Reviews Quotes
“Dorie is a very powerful attorney and a great asset to have on your side in any family legal matter. She is extremely bright and insightful, and I got everything I asked for in my lawsuit.”
Brit B.
“I would strongly recommend Ms. Dorie Rogers for any legal needs. During my Divorce proceedings, Dorie’s professionalism, expertise in Divorce Law and legal skill helped bring my case to a close in both a timely and mutually agreeable manner.

Additionally, Dorie took the time to understand me and my background to better represent me in my case. She showed a level of caring and concern that helped me through a very difficult time. She is an outstanding lawyer and wonderful person.”

Alan M. Greenberg
“Second to none – I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Dorie to anyone. She was my attorney for my divorce and custody case. She will do everything it takes to get the job done and all with a smile on her face. Her knowledge and expertise will assist anyone in a family law situation get the results they want.”
Todd M.


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