Compassionate and Experienced Santa Clara County Family Lawyer
Child custody and visitation are almost always emotionally charged issues. California child custody lawyer Sandra J. McManus can help diffuse emotion and facilitate amicable settlements. Our firm is dedicated to serving clients in the San Jose area in custody and visitation matters, with Ms. McManus’ characteristic empathy toward clients and toughness toward opponents.
Contact a child custody lawyer today to schedule a free 30-minute consultation. Call (408) 293-6383.
How the System Works
In California, any custody or visitation dispute must first be taken to parent orientation and mediation as offered for free by family court services. In Santa Clara County, attorneys are not allowed to attend mediation with clients. Attorneys can, however, help you prepare for mediation and file motions on your behalf. Ms. McManus also provides family law mediation services, so contact us if you think you have an agreement to mediate.
If an agreement can’t be reached in child custody mediation, the mediator will send the case to a judicial custody conference with the judge. At this point of failed mediation, you can involve an attorney if necessary. During this conference, the parties and/or attorneys will state what their wishes are for custody and visitation, and if no agreement is reached with the help of the judge, he or she will order the case to an assessment or custody evaluation.
Sometimes, however, emergency situations may arise, such as child abuse, domestic violence, neglect, alcohol or drug problems, or when one parent interferes with the other parent’s child custody or visitation rights. In these cases, parents may be able to request an emergency screening that will result in temporary immediate orders. If you are in an emergency situation, please contact us for the immediate, compassionate protection you need.
Find out more about custody and visitation and child custody modifications
Resolving Custody and Visitation Disputes Out of Court
Typically, it is in your best interest to settle custody and visitation matters outside of court. Child custody lawyer Sandra McManus typically tries to reach a settlement that is beneficial to you, rather than let a judge decide what custody and visitation arrangement is best for your family. She believes that parents themselves are much better equipped to formulate a custody and visitation schedule than a judge, especially when that judge does not know you or your family from the next family.
However, if a reasonable parenting agreement cannot be reached in your case, Ms. McManus can effectively and aggressively fight for your interests in a court of law. Since 1994, attorney McManus has been practicing family law in Santa Clara County; she knows what local judges are likely to do, and can use that knowledge to seek the best possible solution for her clients. Perhaps most importantly, we do not recommend involving your children in custody and visitation questions. Unless the children are 14 years old or older, do not ask them what they want. Any child under 14 is too young to make such a difficult choice. Parents should not involve the minor children in any aspect of their dispute regardless of their age.
Attorney Sandra J. McManus believes in being very honest and direct with clients, while always giving them the attention and consideration they need. She has spent her career helping people throughout Santa Clara County with their family law, divorce, child custody, and visitation issues. Contact a child custody lawyer immediately to set up a free half-hour consultation.