How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask AttorneyTom Your Own Question
AttorneyTom, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 9176
Experience:  Attorney
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
AttorneyTom is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My childrens father left 4 months ago after we lived together

Resolved Question:

My children's father left 4 months ago after we lived together for 10 years. Our children are 9 and 4. I need to know what rights I have for custody and child suppport. Any help would be appreciated.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  AttorneyTom replied 7 years ago.

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.



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 health
b. 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.

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:

Edited by T-USA on 10/1/2009 at 7:33 AM EST
AttorneyTom and 4 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you