Child Custody Lawyer

in Sonoma, CA

If you are contemplating a divorce or legal separation, or are currently undergoing one, and have children with your spouse, determining child custody will be a central issue. Child custody matters are often emotionally charged and complex, making it crucial to have an experienced Sonoma family law attorney and child custody lawyer by your side to navigate this process and advocate for your interests. Should you need any child custody modifications, our team can guide you through the custody case procedures.

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Best Interest of Your Child, or Children, is Paramount

In child custody decisions, California judges primarily consider what will best serve the child’s interests. Initially, both parents are generally considered on equal footing regarding custody rights. Judges then assess various factors to determine how custody and child support should be allocated, adhering to two main principles: (I) the health, safety, and welfare of the children, and (II) the benefits of frequent and ongoing contact with both parents, suggesting a preference for joint and shared custody arrangements.

These guiding principles lead judges to consider factors such as which environment allows the child to maintain stability and continuity, including emotional bonds with a primary caretaker, typically favoring primary custody. Additionally, judges evaluate which parent is more likely to foster a positive relationship between the child and the other parent. Efforts are also made to keep siblings together unless extraordinary circumstances dictate otherwise.

Preference of Child May Be Considered

Judges may consider the child’s preferences depending on their age and maturity. This consideration often leads to the question, “How old does my child need to be to have their preference influence custody decisions?” While California law does not specify an exact age, the older and more mature the child, the more weight their preference is typically given.

Factors That Can Result in the Loss of Custody

Certain conditions arising from a child custody case may lead judges to deny custody or visitation rights to a parent. These include:

Evidence of habitual use of alcohol or illegal drugs by you or your spouse.

Convictions of serious offenses by a parent, such as rape, sexual abuse, or first-degree murder, as per California child custody laws.

Things to keep in mind For

Child Custody

Custody Arrangements

Understanding the multifaceted nature of “custody” is crucial. Custody comprises both legal and physical aspects. Legal custody pertains to the right to make significant decisions affecting the child’s welfare, health, education, and overall development. Physical custody, however, relates to the actual physical presence of the child with a parent. While “joint physical custody” means significant periods of custody for each parent, it does not automatically imply joint legal custody and vice versa.
California judges typically favor awarding joint physical and legal custody when parents agree. In disputes, no initial presumption favors or opposes joint custody.

You Have a Say in How Custody Will Be Decided

It’s important to remember that judges do not solely make custody decisions. You and your spouse have the opportunity to negotiate a parenting plan that includes arrangements for both legal and physical custody and spousal support. If an agreement is reached, it will be submitted to a judge for approval by a child custody attorney. The decision will be made in court if an agreement cannot be reached. You may also seek child custody modifications through a legal hearing.

Common child custody arrangements include:

  • Sole legal custody
  • Sole physical custody, with one parent as the non-custodial parent
  • Joint legal custody
  • Joint physical custody

Involved In A Child Custody Dispute In Sonoma?

If you are facing a divorce or are in the midst of one and need assistance with child custody rights, Castro Law Offices, P.C. is here to help. As a leading firm specializing in divorce, child custody, and other family law issues, we are well-equipped to provide legal services and advice to clients throughout Sonoma County, including Sonoma, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, and beyond. Contact Castro Law Offices, P.C. today to schedule a confidential consultation and ensure your rights and the best interests of your children are protected.


Jeremy Castro helped me with an adoption after my daughter’s dad passed away. My husband has been a step dad to her for 8 years and wanted to adopt her. Even though there is no way he can completely fill the role of her deceased father, he wanted to fully be there for her and offer comfort and emotional support for her. Jeremy and his wife Danielle were there every step of the way for us! I’m so grateful they were there to help with all of our questions and guide us though this process. Jermey’s passion for helping bring families together was so delightful.
This review is about my experience with Jeremy and team at Castro Law. After calling around numerous times to different firms, going to the law library, and reaching out to dads rights advocates. I still didn’t get much help. I made the best choice of my life by calling Castro Law. If you’re reading this I recommend at least giving them a call because they mean business. I finally feel at peace , they went above and beyond for me. The team is great at communicating, very knowledgeable, helpful, and are professional. In my experience mothers are the one favored in the courts, and get the better outcome. Jeremy and team were in my corner the whole time and proved that dads have rights too! Im with this team until my kids are 18 , thanks again Castro Law
I highly recommend Jeremy Castro and his associates to any future clients. They are legal professionals who: 1. Know and apply the law to your individual case to achieve the best possible outcome 2. Communicate in a fair and straightforward manner to all parties 3. Reduce the tension in an otherwise emotional setting and assist making objective decisions. They personally saw my case through to an amicable conclusion and their billing hours were appropriate. First class performance!
I wanted to take this time to write a review about my experience with Castro Law Offices. First off, they were not only FAST to my reply, but also very kind to my emotional situation. I was even handed some tissues for when I was crying. I was treated with the upmost respect (even though I'm sure I looked a little manic while in there explaining my case.) and kindness. They got my case close within a week, and also got me EVERYTHING I was asked for. I recommend Castro Law for ANYONE in need of lawyer assistance. Jeremy and his team work hard, day and night to make sure they meet all of their client's needs. If you're looking for immediate help and guidance with ANY attorney, Castro Law.
When things came to a point of contention with my children's father I knew I needed the help of an attorney. After weeks long search and hundreds of dollars in consultation fees with numerous other attorneys I finally found Jeremy! He is very knowledgeable regarding family law issues, authentic in his character and legal advice, as well as very reliable. As anyone in our shoes has been knows, the unknown can be very stressful. Jeremy made it a point to get back to me promptly when I contacted him...sometimes late into the night. He also was very transparent regarding communication with the other party. Would absolutely recommend Jeremy to anyone with with family law needs!
I was so happy I had decided to hire the Castro Law Office for my child custody and visitation case in Napa County. As a single father of three boys in the state of California, I felt as if I was already doomed thinking that the state would favor the mother regardless of my capability to care for our children. Jeremy was very empathetic and worked diligently to get myself in a good position for the hearing, as I hired him approximately a month prior to the court date. During the hearing, he was very stern and aggressive at the right moments. The situation I was in was extremely stressful and hiring the Castro Law Office helped put my mind at ease. He was very upfront and honest with me from the beginning and which is a trait I greatly appreciated. In the end, we were able to obtain an agreement that is best suited for the children and ourselves. I would hire them again for any other issues I might have in the future.

Have Questions About Child Custody Laws in California?

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