33 S Catalina Ave, Suite 202Pasadena, CA 91106


Perhaps the most difficult part of the divorce process for an individual is knowing how it will impact their children. The last thing in the world that you want is to know that the dissolution of your marriage is negatively impacting the people you love most in the entire world. Your children are your life, and protecting your right to obtain custody and visitation is essential to the ongoing health of your family. At the Southern California Law Offices of Ted Khalaf, we understand the delicate nature of this important issue. With over 14 years of experience in dealing with child custody and visitation law, we are here to support you through this difficult time.

Child custody and visitation situations can be incredibly emotional. It is essential that you align yourself with an attorney skilled in dealing with this variety of litigation, someone who clearly understands California-specific laws. You need a family attorney who can passionately, yet aggressively represent your case and who will empower you with the necessary information and knowledge to fully understand the process.

Who Is the Best Child Custody Lawyer?

When you need legal counsel for a child custody determination, it’s natural to want to have the best Pasadena child custody lawyer available on your side. Countless family law attorneys are practicing throughout California, and it can be difficult for some parents to find attorneys who inspire them with confidence about their legal skills and ability to navigate complex child custody determination proceedings.

The Khalaf Law Group is confident that we can provide the responsive and compassionate legal representation you need during what is sure to be one of the most challenging experiences of your life. We believe in client-focused representation, so you can expect our team to take time to learn more about you and your family to help you reach the best possible result in your custody case. Ultimately, instead of searching for the “best” child custody lawyer, it’s better to find the one who’s best for you and your family.

How Much Does a Child Custody Lawyer Cost in California?

One issue that presents serious problems for many parents facing child custody determinations is the cost of legal representation. Attorneys’ fees across the country are notoriously expensive. If you are going to invest in a Pasadena child custody lawyer to assist in your case, you need to be sure it will be money well spent.

Most attorneys will bill their clients based on the amount of time they spend working on their cases. The longer a case takes to conclude, the more it costs the client in legal fees. Before agreeing to any attorney’s representation, you should verify how they intend to bill their time and what you can expect from working with the attorney. At the Khalaf Law Group, we aim to streamline your proceedings as much as possible and minimize the time you must spend fighting for custody. You can expect transparency when it comes to your billing if you choose the Khalaf Law Group as your Pasadena family law attorneys of choice.

Legal and Physical Custody

In California, legal custody refers to privileges awarded to a parent or domestic partner that pertains to important decision-making on behalf of a child that may include the child’s education, religious affiliation, and health. Joint legal custody is standard between married parents as well as divorced parents, and it is common for the California courts to grant joint custody to unmarried parents depending on the circumstances of the case. By filling out an application to the court, legal custody may be modified, yet modifications are uncommon with the exception of extreme situations. Modifications are contingent upon the specifics of each case and are approached on a case-by-case basis.

Physical custody is the term used to describe where a child or children physically live. It also factors into the level of child support a parent will receive and possible state and federal tax exemptions. Many father’s rights organizations have worked to overturn a longstanding trend of physical custody being awarded based solely on gender, and many efforts have been made to focus the decision of physical custody on what is deemed to be in the best interest of the child.

Pasadena, CA, Child Custody & Visitation Determination

The predominant factor that determines decision-making on behalf of the child or children is now almost entirely based on what is deemed to be in the child’s best interest. In the California court system, if a judge determines that it is in the child’s best interest to maintain joint custody, it is granted to both parties. Preference based solely on gender is avoided as well as preference based on whether a parent is the mother or the father.

Who Is Most Likely to Get Custody of a Child after Divorce?

It is common for fathers facing child custody determinations to feel disadvantaged as they begin the legal process of fighting for custody of their children. This is due to the fact that historically, family courts throughout the United States have ruled in favor of granting greater custody rights to mothers over fathers. This trend arose from the longstanding gender roles of mothers as caregivers and fathers as breadwinners, but this trend has shifted dramatically in the past few decades. Family court judges now maintain that both mothers and fathers are equally capable parents, and children thrive best when they have access to both a mother and a father.

When it comes to who is most likely to obtain custody of a child, the court must determine what type of custody arrangement suits the child’s interests the best, and most family court judges will strive for joint custody between the mother and father. The only factors that may sway a court to rule in favor of sole custody would be one parent’s limited availability due to work, any history of domestic violence, or voluntary relinquishment of parental rights.

Lawyer for Visitation Rights

A sequence of determining custody often begins with the optimal choice of joint custody between two parents. From there, the best interest of the child follows a scenario where custody goes to the person or persons in whose home a child has been living in a stable and wholesome environment. If such a living situation cannot be determined, the child is placed with a person related within the fifth degree of consanguinity and in whom the court finds a suitable home and living situation that provides the child with the appropriate amount of care and guidance. In the absence of any suitable relative, custody of the child goes to a person or persons whom the court deems suitable to provide adequate care and guidance.

Can I Change My Custody Order?

California family courts allow parents to petition for modifications of their child custody and child support determinations without the need for a complex and lengthy appeals process. Filing a post-judgment modification petition is the best way to have your existing custody order changed in light of recent life events. For example, if you believe your co-parent poses a danger to your child’s health or safety, you can include your reasoning for this belief in your post-judgment modification petition. You can also petition for a change in child support if you recently lost your job or developed a medical condition that prevents you from fulfilling your support obligation.

Once the family court receives a petition to modify a custody order, the court sets a hearing date. During this hearing, both parents will have the chance to speak on the issue. If you intend to fight for expanded custody rights, it will be vital to work closely with your Pasadena child custody lawyer to gather evidence to support your petition. If the judge determines that the proposed change suits the child’s best interests more closely than the existing custody order, they will likely grant the petition.

The Best Interest of the Child

In all legal cases involving children — be it custody or child support — the best interest of the child is of paramount importance. At Khalaf Law Group, it is our commitment to represent our clients from the perspective of serving the best interest of every child. Many factors contribute to the stability and health of a child, and in regard to child custody and visitation, we will aggressively represent you and your rights as a parent. As a mother or father, you have certain inalienable rights to maintain custody and visitation privileges with your children. We are here to support you through the process of securing those rights and maintaining a healthy relationship with your children throughout the divorce process.

It is natural to feel uncertain and stressed about an impending child custody determination. While it may feel as though the situation is entirely outside of your control, you can approach your child custody case with greater confidence by hiring an experienced Pasadena child custody lawyer to help you. The Khalaf Law Group has the experience and resources you need to navigate your child custody case successfully. If you are ready to speak with a reliable attorney about your concerns, contact the Khalaf Law Group today and schedule a consultation with our team.