Child Custody
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Experienced Child Custody Lawyer Here for Your Family’s Needs

At Auer Family Law in San Francisco, Lisa J. Auer can work with you as your attorney or as a neutral mediator to understand the needs of your family and to find child custody solutions that are in the best interests of your children and agreeable to both parents. Lisa believes that, whenever possible, parents should resolve custody issues outside of court through negotiation or mediation. Children benefit when parents cooperate and keep their conflicts away from the children. It is important to separate disputes over financial issues from parenting issues as much as possible. Children are entitled to the best possible relationship with both parents.

Lisa favors an interdisciplinary approach and often recommends that when custody issues are more complicated the parents work with a mental health professional with specialized knowledge and experience in child development and the needs of divorced or separated families to act as the custody mediator or co-parenting counselor.

Understanding Legal and Physical Custody

There are two types of custody:

Legal custody refers to the right to make important decisions about a child’s education, health care, religious instruction and other major issues. Joint legal custody means that the parents share the right to make these important decisions.

Physical custody refers to where the child lives and which parent is responsible for caring for and supervising the child. Joint physical custody means that each parent has significant periods of physical custody of the child, not necessarily that they have 50/50 parenting time.

California family law provides that children should have frequent and continuing contact with both parents and that parents should share the rights and responsibilities of raising their children unless safety concerns make this impossible.

Creating a Parenting Plan

A parenting plan is a written statement of the arrangements that the parents will follow in raising their children. A parenting plan should be drafted to consider the circumstances of both parents and the ages and developmental needs of the children. It generally includes a schedule that specifies the days and times the children are in the care of each parent. It includes details of how the children will spend holidays, vacations and other special days.

The parenting plan should also specify how the parents will share responsibility for important decisions and how they will communicate with each other. It is generally helpful to put a parenting plan in place as soon as possible after separation.

Lisa can help you develop a parenting plan that meets your family’s needs, provides stability, and addresses potential areas of confusion or conflict, or refer you to a parenting specialist for more complex situations. A parenting plan may need to be modified over time as children get older and circumstances change. Lisa can also help you when modifications are needed.

Schedule a Consultation with Auer Family Law

Lisa J. Auer will help you understand your child custody options and develop individualized solutions that work for your family. You can schedule a consultation through our online contact form or by calling the law firm at 415-766-0122.