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Skilled Child Custody Attorney Santa Barbara

Channe G Coles

Santa Barbara Child Custody Lawyer

Many parents dealing with child custody and related legal matters often find themselves in emotionally trying situations that call for professional legal assistance. The process of seeking child custody and visitation rights can be intricate, encompassing situations involving both married and unmarried parents. In situations involving married parents, it necessitates filing for a dissolution of marriage, legal separation, or nullity action. On the other hand, unmarried parents must initiate proceedings to establish their parental relationship.


Channe G. Coles is an accomplished child custody attorney in Santa Barbara, committed to offering the essential support and guidance required to assist parents in navigating these complex legal challenges.


Your well-being and the best possible outcome for your children and your future are our top priorities. Contact our office today for a consultation with our Santa Barbara child custody attorney, Channe G. Coles.

Family Law Attorney Santa Barbara | Channe G Coles

Why Hire A Santa Barbara Child Custody Attorney?

Engaging the services of a child custody attorney in Santa Barbara can be a prudent decision for many reasons including:


  • Legal Expertise: Child custody laws can be intricate and subject to regional nuances. A seasoned Santa Barbara child custody lawyer possesses an intimate knowledge of the local family law landscape. This equips them to navigate the complexities, ensuring your case adheres to local regulations and procedures, and guarantees you're well-informed about your rights and obligations.

  • Objective Guidance: Child custody disputes often brim with emotional turmoil. An attorney can offer an impartial perspective and assist you in making rational choices. This not only minimizes potential conflicts but also alleviates stress associated with such cases.

  • Negotiation Prowess: Custody matters often necessitate negotiations between parents or guardians. An attorney can serve as an adept negotiator on your behalf. Their role is to strive for a custody arrangement that safeguards the child's welfare while preserving parental rights.

  • Courtroom Representation: Should your case escalate to a courtroom scenario, an attorney becomes indispensable. They will diligently prepare your case, present compelling evidence, and advocate for your cause before the judge, substantially enhancing your prospects of a favorable ruling.

  • Documentation and Paperwork: Child custody proceedings involve a substantial amount of paperwork and documentation. An attorney ensures meticulous filing and submission of all requisite forms and documents, reducing the risk of administrative errors that could impede the process.

  • Child's Best Interests: Courts invariably prioritize the child's best interests in custody determinations. An attorney will assist you in constructing a compelling case that underscores how your proposed custody arrangement aligns with the child's paramount welfare.

  • Modifications and Enforcement: In the event of evolving circumstances post-establishment of a custody agreement, an attorney can facilitate the process of seeking modifications or enforcing the existing order, should the need arise.

  • Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution: Some situations may lend themselves to resolution via mediation or alternative dispute resolution avenues. A Santa Barbara child custody lawyer can expertly guide you through these processes, fostering amicable resolutions when suitable.

  • Protection against Unfair Tactics: Regrettably, not all parties involved in child custody cases operate in good faith. An attorney acts as your shield against unfair tactics and deceitful maneuvers from the opposing party.

  • Peace of Mind: Engaging an attorney provides a profound sense of assurance. You can rest assured that you have a dedicated advocate diligently safeguarding your rights and interests throughout the child custody journey.


It's important to note that the specific rationale for hiring a child custody attorney may vary contingent upon the distinctive circumstances of your case. By consulting with our child custody attorney Santa Barbara clients can ensure a tailored discussion about their situation and how our assistance can optimally guide you through the intricacies of child custody matters in Santa Barbara. We operate throughout California and, where Federal law is involved, throughout the United States. Note that contacting us via email, telephone or fax does not constitute the formation of an attorney-client relationship.

Contact Our Santa Barbara Child Custody Attorney

Call today for a consultation with our experienced Santa Barbara Child Custody Lawyer.

Call 📞 (805) 617-4618


"Channe has been excellent in working with me to get immediate temporary spousal and child support as we get deeper into the complexities of my case."
- E.S. on Yelp

Child Custody Attorney Santa Barbara | Channe G Coles

Domestic Violence & Child Custody

Domestic violence, whether physical, emotional, or mental, inflicts deep and enduring wounds on its victims. Unfortunately, many survivors hesitate to seek the support they genuinely need. Domestic abuse, whether directed towards current or former spouses, cohabitants, blood or marital relatives, parents of children, or individuals in dating or engagement relationships, is entirely unacceptable and should never be tolerated.

Child Custody in California

Child custody matters can become intricate, particularly in divorce cases. Custody essentially falls into two categories: joint or sole custody, further divided into legal and physical custody.


  • Legal custody gives a parent the power to make important choices in a child's life. Decisions pertaining to education, healthcare, and other welfare matters may be involved. While parents with shared legal custody are not obligated to concur on every aspect of their child's life, it is recommended that they collaborate to the fullest extent possible to prevent legal disputes.

  • Physical custody concerns where the child lives and who primarily cares for them. It is a common misconception that joint physical custody necessitates an equal division of time between parents. However, this is not always feasible due to various factors such as work commitments, school schedules, and other routine aspects of daily life.


In California, the court gives top priority to the children's well-being, safety, and overall health when determining custody. If there's any domestic violence or abuse impacting the child, the judge considers this when making decisions about both legal and physical custody arrangements.

In custody cases involving abuse claims, judges examine different forms of independent evidence supporting these allegations. Reach out to the office of Santa Barbara child custody attorney Channe G. Coles today. We are here to provide the support and legal assistance critical to you at this important time.

Relocation Cases

When it comes to child custody matters, we often come across what's known as a "relocation case" or a "move-away" scenario. This unfolds when a parent, typically the one with primary physical custody, plans to move with their child to a different location, resulting in significant changes to the current custody and visitation arrangements. This situation arises when the parent intends to make a substantial move, whether it's within the same state, to another state, or even to a different country. For advice on relocation cases from an experienced child custody attorney Santa Barbara clients are welcome to arrange a consultation with our office.


In California, these move-away situations are regulated by legal standards that prioritize the child's best interests. When a custodial parent wishes to relocate with their child, they must adhere to specific legal procedures and secure court approval if the move would substantially impact the other parent's custody or visitation rights.

Out-of-State Child Custody

"Out-of-State child custody" involves custody matters when parents live in different states or when a child relocates to another state, leading to the need for custody and visitation arrangements across state lines. Reasons include parental separation across states, a parent's interstate move with the child, or custody disputes involving parents in different states. For advice on out-of-state cases from an experienced child custody attorney Santa Barbara clients can arrange a consultation with our office.


In California, these cases follow the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) and the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA). Key points in California include:


  • Jurisdiction: Typically, the child's "home state" of residence for the past six months is used to determine which state has custody jurisdiction. In more complex cases, it depends on substantial connections and evidence related to the child's well-being.


  • Ex Parte Orders: In emergencies, a parent can request a temporary custody order (ex parte) from a California court, even if one parent lives in another state, for immediate child protection.

  • Registration and Enforcement: Out-of-state custody orders can be registered in California courts under the UCCJEA, making enforcement easier without re-litigation.

  • Modification: When parents or the child move to California, custody orders may be modified under specific conditions, often involving the child's California residency and significant changes impacting the child.

  • Interstate Cooperation: California courts collaborate with other states to ensure the child's best interests, sharing information and working together.


If you're concerned about the other parent's potential relocation or if you're considering moving with your child, it's essential to reach out to our Santa Barbara child custody attorney, Channe G. Coles, before finalizing any parenting agreements. This step is vital to safeguard your rights and interests.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is child custody determined in California?

Child custody in California is determined based on the child's best interests. Factors like parental abilities, child's health, and safety are considered. Legal and physical custody arrangements can be joint or sole, depending on what serves the child's welfare. Courts also weigh any history of domestic violence or abuse.

What are visitation rights in California?

Visitation rights in California allow a noncustodial parent to spend time with their child. The court decides visitation schedules, considering the child's best interests. Supervised visitation may be ordered in cases involving safety concerns. Parents can also agree on visitation plans outside of court.

Do I need an attorney for a child custody case in California?

While it's not mandatory to have an attorney for a child custody case in California, it's highly advisable. An attorney can provide legal expertise, navigate complex laws, and represent your interests effectively, increasing your chances of a favorable outcome and ensuring your rights and your child's best interests are protected.

Who pays attorney fees in child custody cases in California?

Fees Responsibility: Typically, both parties in California child custody cases pay their own attorney fees.


  • Fee-Shifting: Courts may order the financially stronger party to cover the other's fees when there's a significant disparity.

  • Contempt Cases: Non-compliant parties may be required to pay the fees for the other party if court orders aren't followed.

  • Fee Requests: Parties can seek fees through a court motion, with factors like finances and fairness considered.


For personalized advice, consult the office of Santa Barbara Child Custody attorney, Channe G.Coles, today.

Our Santa Barbara Family Law Services

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