Dad and son

Child Custody Lawyer

Child custody battles could put your parental rights in jeopardy, resulting in the loss of both physical custody and legal custody.

Our child custody attorneys can assist you in custody fights, offering mediation services in addition to representation in court.

The Dadvocates stand with fathers all over California. We'll help you maintain a loving and meaningful relationship with your children.

You Have Rights as a Father

Dads have rights in divorces and custody battles, and maintaining a nurturing paternal relationship serves the best interests of the child. Whether you live in Silicon Valley or the San Fernando Valley, You can reach out to the Dadvocates regarding your family law issues 24/7.

Understanding Child Custody

Child custody refers to the rights and responsibilities of parents when it comes to raising a child after a divorce. This gets outlined in a parenting plan, which is also known as a custody and visitation agreement. Parenting plans will cover:


Time-sharing refers to the time that a child spends with each parent.


Decision-making refers to choices about a child's upbringing, such as religion and education.

Custody arrangements can involve a 50/50 split between both parents, but if one parent has their child more than half the time, they are known as the custodial parent; the other parent is referred to as the non-custodial parent.

The Best Interests of a Child


California courts will not automatically award custody to either the mother or the father. What matters most is the best interests of the child. This basically means finding the custody arrangement that is best for the child's physical and psychological welfare. Courts will note the age of the child, the relationship with each parent, and any evidence of domestic violence when considering the best interests of the child.

Dadvocates Clients Share Their Stories


Jason Schweikert


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Samira is kind, attentive, understanding, tough, and brilliant! I was referred to her by a legal professional who associates with some of the finest Family Law attorneys in the state, and she was everything he said she was. If you are involved with a divorce or custody case, you definitely need to call her!

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If you want to defend your rights as a father, you've come to the right place. I could not ask for better representation than Kaitlyn Wright and her team. She was nonjudgmental, compassionate, and made everything clear during this difficult process. I have dealt with other lawyers that just go through the motions of the case, but Kaitlyn is truly invested in obtaining the best result for you, which is not always the easiest for a dad in today's system. Highly recommended!!

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Speak with Our Child Custody Lawyers

Contact The Dadvocates Today


We help men all over California with their family law disputes. Since our founding in 2016, our child custody attorneys have worked in trials and mediation on numerous custody cases.

If you're going through a divorce, we can walk you through the basics of custody and how they apply to your situation. If you're already divorced but in a custody battle, our attorneys can discuss how to assert your parental rights while focusing on what's best for your child.

To learn more about your rights as a father when it comes to child custody, contact The Dadvocates today. You can also reach our practice serving men throughout California by phone:

(818) 699-9756

Helping Dads with Their Family Law Disputes


Roshanda Gavin


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After years of fighting for visitation rights, my brother was not only awarded those rights but joint legal custody as well. Samara and her team are very knowledgeable, persistent, and professional. If you need legal representation that will fight for you and get the job done this team is who I recommend. You won’t be disappointed. Our family is forever grateful for all the hard work and dedication from this firm. Thanks again and many blessings upon your family for bridging the gap in ours.

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Daniel Kasper


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The Dadvocates is one of the most professional and results oriented law firms that I have encountered - highly recommend. I personally worked with Danielle and she exceeded expectations at every moment of my difficult case. I walked away in a position that, without Danielle and the Dadvocates, I would not have been able to achieve. The Dadvocates is a high Return on Investment law firm.

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Serving the Entire State of California We're proud to help men from these communities and beyond:

  • Bakersfield
  • Berkeley
  • Fresno
  • Los Angeles
  • Monterey
  • Oakland
  • Sacramento
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • San Jose
  • Santa Barbara
  • Santa Rosa

The lawyers at The Dadvocates can help ex-husbands and fathers with custody disputes and their other family law needs.

Creating a Custody Agreement

Many divorcing couples create custody agreements together as part of the divorce proceedings. In amicable situations, this often means an arrangement in which both parents have joint custody.

Keep in mind that parents may have joint legal custody, but one parent may still be designated as the custodial parent because they have more physical custody of a child.

Modifying a Custody Agreement

When circumstances change, legal and physical custody can be modified. This includes modifications due to job loss, medical issues, or changes in financial status. As with the initial agreement, parents can similarly work out agreement modifications together before presenting it to the court.

How Does Relocation ​Affect Child Custody?


If a parent needs to move away with their child for more than 30 days, a notice must be sent to the other parent at least 45 days before the move takes place. This gives both parents time to revise their existing agreement and have the court approve the modification.

Military Relocation and Child Custody

Military Dad holding son

According to California Family Code § 3047, duty, deployment, or mobilization orders from the military may result in a temporary modification to existing custody or visitation arrangements. This temporary custody order is made without prejudice and will be reviewed upon the service member's return. Often times, the custody agreement reverts back to the original agreement once the service member has come back.

While the service member has temporarily relocated, the court will ensure the temporary order allows the parent to have remote contact and access to their child.

Discuss Child Custody with Our Lawyers

Our Attorneys Are Here to Help


So many factors go into child custody arrangements. When circumstances change, it can be difficult to come to an agreement on modifications with the other parent. The Dadvocates can help. Our child custody attorneys have assisted many fathers in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and other major cities throughout the Golden State with their custody issues. Send our lawyers a message today, or call our practice serving all of California at:

(818) 699-9756

Providing Family Law Assistance From Southern California to Northern California


Johanna Obermeyer


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Very professional law firm that advocates for father's rights. I would recommend anyone here. Attorneys are very professional with valuable experience and amazing educational histories.

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Terri Pennel


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Samera was amazing! Knowledgeable, honest & thorough. She answered all my questions & even advised on the next steps to take.

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Dealing with Common Child Custody Disputes

Not all child custody cases are amicable. It can be difficult to develop a mutually acceptable child custody agreement, let alone modify an existing agreement. Many family law disputes involving children come down to fundamental disagreements about which parent can provide a more loving home. The child custody lawyers at The Dadvocates can help you work through different kinds of disputes with the other parent.

Couple looking suspiciously at each other

Cannot Agree on Modification

Even in amicable divorces, you and the other parent might not be able to agree on changes to your existing custody arrangement. The relocation to another city or state may be unreasonable. The desire for more time with a child during the summer may not be feasible given existing vacation or travel plans. Whatever the disagreement may be, it's important to have a child custody attorney on your side. They can reinforce your case for a proposed modification or strengthen your objection to your former spouse's proposed modification.


The Agreement Has Been Broken

A parenting plan is enforceable by law once it's been approved by a judge. When the other parent breaks your custody agreement, it's important that you hold them accountable. Violations may include denying access to your child, leaving the state or country with the child unannounced, or making major life decisions about your child without communication or consultation. Local authorities can help you enforce your existing custody and visitation agreement. Your child custody attorney can advise you regarding the next steps to take to ensure this does not happen again.

Sad child

Child Abuse and Endangerment

Child abuse and domestic violence allegations need to be taken seriously. When a parent is accused of abuse, neglect, or any form of mistreatment, it is crucial that the child be taken out of that parent's custody for their safety. The same is true of substance abuse issues, whether it involves the custodial or noncustodial home. Our family law team can advocate for sole custody if the other parent is abusive, negligent, or otherwise dangerous. Meanwhile, if a former spouse makes false claims of abuse, our attorneys can help clear your name and restore your parental rights.

Whatever the nature of the dispute, you need attorneys who are willing to provide facts without sugar-coating them. The Dadvocates are here for fathers who want to do what's right for their children.

Speak with Us About Your Custody Dispute

Contact Our Lawyers for Guidance and Advice


If you're fighting your former spouse for custody of your children, you need a knowledgeable attorney who understands how to leverage the California Family Code in your favor. The child custody lawyers at The Dadvocates have worked on many family law cases over the years, always putting the rights of fathers and the needs of children first. Whether you're based in San Diego or Northern California, we can help you.

To discuss your child custody case, send our lawyers a message today. You can also request a consultation with our lawyers serving all of California by phone:

(818) 699-9756

A Law Firm Committed to Fathers More Client Reviews for The Dadvocates


John Carter


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Samera Habib is a consummate professional who takes her responsibilities personally and handles her affairs diligently and with integrity.  Her clear thinking and open-minded approach gives her a distinct advantage over most of her peers.  Always very responsive and incredibly polite, her demeanor and optimism make interacting with her delightful.  She is very well prepared for meetings, highly organized and very creative.  I recommend Samera Habib enthusiastically and without reservation.

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Shamseldeen Shams


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Samera and her team are LIFESAVERS! I was set up with a different lawyer. This lawyer was from a larger firm and it was nearly impossible to speak with him directly - and the assistants were never able to give me an update about my case. I was so nervous that nothing was being done and decided to find a new lawyer to take over. I am SO glad I found Samera. Somebody who answers every time I call and if herself isn't available, she always returns my call within a business day.

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Seeking Full Custody of Your Child

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If there is evidence that your former spouse is an unfit parent, it may be worth seeking sole legal and physical custody of your child. This is the focus of many heated child custody disputes.

The Dadvocates have worked on both criminal and civil litigation over the years, which has helped many clients in their child custody cases. We can scrutinize the evidence you've presented to us and determine ways to build a compelling case for primary custody to the court.

Seeking sole legal custody and physical custody is ultimately about the best interests of your child, which our attorneys will always consider while presenting your case.

Resolving Child Custody Disputes

Child custody disputes can be resolved in court or outside of court. Out-of-court resolution methods tend to be less adversarial. Our child custody attorneys can help with out-of-court resolution methods, negotiating with your former spouse and their lawyers. However, we are ready to go to court if doing so serves the best interests of your child.

Custody Mediation

Mediation is when each parent and their respective lawyers meet with a mediator. This disinterested third party helps facilitate a conversation between each side to reach a mutually agreeable outcome.

Collaborative Law

Collaborative law also involves meetings between each spouse and their lawyers, but there is no mediator present. But as with mediation, both sides try to reach an agreement out of court.

Custody Trial

If out-of-court resolution methods are unsuccessful, the custody dispute will have to go to family court. The judge will have the final say based on the cases presented during the evidentiary hearing.

Do You Have Questions
About Child Custody?

The Dadvocates Have Answers

Dad and kid

There are different ways to resolve a child custody dispute, but you may not know where to start. That's why you need child custody lawyers well-versed in the California Family Code. No matter where in California you reside, the Dadvocates are here to help.

We're available on evenings and weekends to accommodate your schedule and provide the insight you need for time-sensitive matters.

Get answers about child custody from our lawyers. Send our child custody attorneys a message or call our law offices to request a legal consultation.

(818) 699-9756

The Dadvocates Are on Your Side Read Reviews from Some of Our Former Clients


Nick Haneca


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Samera and the Dadvocates are amazing! They worked very diligently throughout my extreme divorce process giving it the utmost attention. I ended up with primary custody of my three children. I cannot thank The Dadvocates enough for representing me and supporting me though a very difficult time. The Dadvocates are professional, hard working and very passionate about their work.

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Greg Norris


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When a family splits, its easy to feel left in shock, confused, over-whelmed and often times completely and totally alone in the fight. Having a team like the one at SH Law behind you is invaluable. Attorney Samera Habib and her team helped me (and continues to help me) through the process of my separation and ongoing child custody matters with such care and devotion, seeing each of my cases through to the end and always with a judgment in my favor. They make me feel less alone in this. They make me feel like I have support. I would recommend SH Law to ANY Parent facing difficult separation or custody matters. They really do feel like part of OUR team at this point. My son and I. Thanks SH Law!

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Legal Aid for Dads All Over California

The attorneys at The Dadvocates are proud to help men all over the Golden state, including the following counties:

  • Alameda County
  • Los Angeles County
  • Marin County
  • Orange County
  • Riverside County
  • Santa Clara County
  • San Diego County
  • San Francisco County

Work with attorneys who put the needs of fathers and their children first. The Dadvocates will bring their years practicing family law and criminal law to your case.

Child Custody FAQ

Do prenuptial agreements cover post-divorce child custody?

No. A prenuptial agreement can list the current property of each spouse and specify property rights at the end of a marriage, but it cannot make stipulations about child custody or visitation rights. This allows courts to weigh the current best interests of the child.

My spouse is denying me access to my child. Can I stop paying child support?

No. Child support orders are separate from the court orders for custody and visitation. If the other parent is blocking contact with your child, it's important to speak with local law enforcement and a child custody lawyer about what steps you should take next.

Is a parent's income a key factor when selecting a custodial parent?

Income is a factor that courts look at, but it is not the only factor considered. Courts will also consider the child's relationship with each parent, who was the primary caregiver during marriage, each parent's home environment, and any history of domestic violence or neglect.

Do unmarried fathers automatically have custody rights?

No, unmarried dads do not automatically have custody or visitation rights. In fact, they have to legally sign a declaration of parentage in order to establish paternity, which is something married fathers don't have to do. Our child custody lawyers can discuss the needs of unmarried fathers during a consultation.

Can grandfathers seek custody of their grandchildren?

Yes. California allows non-parents to seek custody of a child. When a grandparent or other non-parent assumes custody of a child, this is known as probate guardianship of a person.

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The Dadvocates

The Dadvocates are the only lawyers exclusively focused on protecting the rights of fathers. Our attorneys have received awards and prestigious recognitions from Super Lawyers, Avvo, and the National Academy of Family Law Attorneys. We assist dads in a variety of legal matters, including:

You can request a consultation with our firm by filling out our online form or calling (720) 749-2876.

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