Disclaimer Laws vary drastically by state and country. It is impossible for an attorney to provide legal advice or legal services on JustAnswer. What follows is neither legal advice nor a legal service and may/not apply in your particular state. What follows is general information provided for educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is formed. T-USA is not your attorney. No attorney-client privilege exists. Anything you write can be used in court if discovered by an opposing party. The following information is provided for the purpose of encouraging you to seek, in person, the counsel of an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your particular state. It is essential to consult such an attorney as soon as possible. By reading further, you understand and agree to all that is written above. _____________________________________ Answer: Your question is extremely broad. However, the following information should be very helpful.With custody matters, typically the main goals of the court should be to promote contact with both parents if both parents are able to act in the best interests of the child, place the child in a safe, stable, nonviolent environment, and encourage parents to share the rights and duties of parenthood. However, courts generally err on the side of protecting the children, thus making the focus of most courts "the best interests of the child." Factors courts choose to consider often include:a. Child's gender, age, and healthb. Health, lifestyle, and social habits of parents.c. Parent-child bond.d. Parent's ability to raise child and provide for the child.e. Community factors (school, home, religious, etc.) that may be altered by custody determination.f. Child preference (depending on the state and the age of the child).When one parent leaves the family home and the children, this may hurt him in a custody battle, as stability for children is often assisted by keeping the children in the marital home and as abandonment may reflect poorly with the court. Usually, a custodial parent is entitled to child support from the non-custodial parent, provided paternity has been established. Child support is calculated according to California Child Support guidelines. California's Department of Child Support Services provides a calculator to help parents estimate what a court is likely to award. However, courts do have some discretion based on the circumstances of children and parents.http://www.childsup.ca.gov/Resources/CalculateChildSupport/tabid/114/Default.aspx Child-related matters are major factors in life. Accordingly, before taking any legal action, a person should consult an attorney who is licensed to practice in your state about this matter. While I realize that this can be a great expense, it would be an excellent investment. If money is scarce, there may be low-cost or free legal clinics available to you for this purpose. The state bar association may be able to assist you in locating those. If there are no such clinics, you may be able to work out a payment plan with your attorney. Alternatively, you may be able to seek a loan or pay your attorney via credit card. While it is possible to represent one's self, it is always advisable to have a qualified attorney's assistance. If you need additional clarification, please ask a follow-up question and I will be happy to elaborate. Please remember that we cannot provide legal advice/services through JustAnswer. Please click the green Accept Button for each and every answer and please remember to leave Positive Feedback. Doing so ensures I will receive credit for my time and my effort spent answering your question. Bonuses are greatly appreciated. When leaving Feedback, please remember that Feedback is left for me as an answerer, rather than the content of the answer. While I enjoy to providing customers with the answers they want to hear, doing so is not always possible. You should consult an attorney who is licensed to practice in your state about these matters. You can find an attorney licensed to practice law in your state through your state's lawyer referral services: http://www.abanet.org/legalservices/lris/directory/
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).