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Skilled Child Custody Attorney Santa Maria

Channe G Coles

Santa Maria Child Custody Lawyer

The process of managing child custody and related legal issues can be emotionally challenging and complex, for both married and unmarried parents.  Married couples may encounter divorce, legal separation, or nullity proceedings, while unmarried parents must initiate legal procedures to establish parental rights.


Channe G. Coles, our esteemed Santa Maria attorney specializing in child custody and alimony matters, offers indispensable assistance and direction in navigating the intricacies of such cases. She believes in providing comprehensive support to her clients, not only by offering legal advice and assistance but also by understanding their emotional needs during these challenging times.

Our core priorities are your welfare and the future of your children. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.

Family Law Attorney Santa Barbara | Channe G Coles

Types of Custody

Child custody in California presents a complex and emotionally charged issue when parents decide to separate. California law offers distinct custody arrangements, each with its specific guidelines:


  • Legal Custody: Involves decision-making authority for education, healthcare, and religion. It can be joint (both parents share) or sole (one parent has authority).


  • Physical Custody: Determines the primary residence of the child. It can be joint (considerable time with both parents) or sole (one parent's primary residence, with visitation for the other).


  • Joint Custody: Combines legal and physical custody, striving for shared decision-making and substantial time with both parents.


  • Sole Custody: One parent holds both legal and physical custody. The other may have visitation rights but lacks decision-making authority.

  • Primary Custody: Designates the parent with whom the child primarily resides, with the other typically granted visitation rights.


Clients dealing with custody challenges may find the legal landscape daunting. Seek guidance from our experienced Santa Maria child custody lawyer today to understand your options and to secure the best possible outcome for your children and family.

Contact Our Santa Maria Child Custody Attorney

Call today for a consultation with our experienced Santa Maria 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 Maria

Domestic Violence & Child Custody

Whether physical, emotional, or psychological, domestic violence leaves profound and lasting scars on its victims. Sadly, many survivors fail to seek the vital support they require. Domestic abuse, whether it targets current or former spouses, cohabitants, blood or marital relatives, parents of children, or individuals in dating or engagement relationships, is never acceptable.


In California, the court places the highest emphasis on the well-being, safety, and general health of the children when it comes to custody decisions. When there's evidence of domestic violence or abuse affecting the child, the judge takes this into serious consideration when determining both legal and physical custody arrangements.


Reach out to the office of Santa Maria child custody lawyer Channe G. Coles today. We are here to provide the support and legal assistance critical to you at this important time. 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.

"Move-Away Cases"

Move-away cases are 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. 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.


Navigating move-away situations in California involves several key steps:


  • Notice to the Other Parent: If you plan to relocate, you must provide advance notice to the other parent. This includes details like the move date, destination, and proposed custody changes.


  • Child's Best Interests: California courts prioritize the child's best interests. They consider factors such as age, parent-child relationships, the move's impact, and the reasons behind it.

  • Custody Order Modification: If the move significantly affects current custody orders, the court may adjust them to align with the new circumstances. The court can approve the relocation if it benefits the child or modify custody arrangements accordingly.

  • Burden of Proof: In move-away cases, you, as the relocating parent, typically bear the burden of proving that the move is in the child's best interests.


  • Objections by the Other Parent: The noncustodial parent can object to the move, presenting their arguments in court against it. They can argue that the move isn't in the child's best interests and propose alternative custody arrangements.

  • Court Decision: Ultimately, the court decides based on presented evidence and the child's best interests. Outcomes vary based on each case's unique circumstances.


In move-away situations in Santa Maria, it's essential to consult with an experienced Santa Maria child custody attorney. Our experienced family law attorney, Channe G. Coles, will provide guidance on navigating the legal process and advocate for your rights and your child's best interests.

Out-of-State Child Custody

"Out-of-State child custody" refers to custody matters when parents live in different states or when a child relocates across state lines, necessitating custody and visitation arrangements. This can result from parental separation, a parent's interstate move with the child, or disputes involving parents in different states. In California, these cases adhere to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) and the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA).


Key points in California include:


  • Jurisdiction: Determined by the child's "home state" of residence for the past six months or substantial connections in more complex cases.

  • Ex Parte Orders: Emergency requests for temporary custody orders can be made in California courts, even if one parent resides in another state, for immediate child protection.


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

  • Modification: Custody orders may be modified in California when parents or the child move, contingent on the child's California residency and significant changes affecting the child.


  • Interstate Cooperation: California courts collaborate with other states to safeguard the child's best interests, involving information sharing and cooperation.


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

Frequently Asked Questions

How is child custody determined in Santa Maria?

In California, child custody hinges on the child's best interests, taking into account factors such as parental capabilities, the child's well-being, and safety. Legal and physical custody can be awarded jointly or solely, depending on what promotes the child's welfare. Additionally, courts thoroughly assess any history of domestic violence or abuse in making custody determinations.

What are visitation rights in California?

In California, noncustodial parents are granted visitation rights to enable them to spend quality time with their children. The court establishes visitation schedules with the child's welfare as the top priority. In situations where safety is a concern, supervised visitation may be mandated. Furthermore, parents can mutually agree on visitation arrangements without court intervention.

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

Although it’s not obligatory, it is strongly recommended to retain the services of an attorney for child custody proceedings in California. Legal counsel can offer specialized knowledge, navigate intricate regulations, and advocate for your interests proficiently, enhancing the likelihood of a favorable resolution and safeguarding your rights and your child's welfare.

Our Santa Maria Family Law Services

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