San Marcos Family Law Attorneys
(760) 757-6854

Child Custody Attorney & Legal Services 

Compassionate Child Custody Lawyers Dedicated to Your Family’s Best Legal Interests in the Local San Marcos Area.

For many years, Southern California has been able to count on Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP for all their Child Custody Attorney Legal Services. In addition to our San Marcos Law Firm’s Officeour Legal Services Law Practice Team Represents many Service Area Clients throughout the local San Diego CountyCalifornia region.

Child Custody Law Attorneys with Years of Experience

Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP provides over 57 Years of Combined Family Law Counsel Experience dedicated to Your Family’s Legal Concerns throughout the Legal Process.

The end of a marriage often brings with it contentious legal issues, such as child custody and visitation, that can lock former spouses in a long and ugly legal battle.

The children, however, are often caught in the crossfire as each parent may fight to obtain sole custody over them. In California, law and jurisprudence provide courts with direction on how to decide child custody cases.

What is Child Custody?

Child custody refers to the care, custody and control over the child. It can be sole or shared. Parties who enjoy shared custody need not consult the other for every decision involving the child nor do they have to share equal time with their child.

Ideally, children of divorced parents must be able to spend consistent quality time with both parents. They can enter into a parenting agreement on their own and have their agreement approved in court.

When the parties are unable to arrive at a mutually acceptable custody agreement, the court may make that decision for them using important criteria for deciding child custody.

How Child Custody is Determined

All parents want the best for their children. Unfortunately, divorcing parents rarely agree on the living situation that will best suit the child’s needs. Therefore divorces involving child custody disputes oftentimes end up in the courtroom. In these situations, a judge will determine the final custody arrangement.

If you are going through this emotionally difficult period, it is important to have a passionately committed legal representative who will vigorously fight for your custodial interest. No one wants to lose precious time with their child. The San Marcos child custody attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP, can help you to seek the custodial arrangement you desire. Contact us today at 858-935-6211 to schedule a free consultation.

Factors in Determining Child Custody

In a contentious child custody battle, there are many different factors that a judge will evaluate before issuing a final determination. Some of the issues that will be weighed with regard to the best interest of the child include:

    • Ages of children and parents
    • Desires of parents
    • Relationship between parent and child
    • Health of family members
    • Home environment
    • Living Accommodations
    • School
    • Community
    • Quality of life
    • Presence of abuse
    • Criminal history

Observation is often a key to deciding child custody. A professional may speak to both children and their parents about their relationships. These discussions will influence the court’s decision regarding child custody arrangements. In-home evaluations may also be made to ensure that the children are being brought up in a safe environment.

Best Interests of the Child

There are no hard and fast rules for determining child custody. However, the courts follow the inflexible criterion of the “best interests of the child”.Numerous factors are considered in determining the “best interests of the child”. They include:

    • The age of the child
    • The health of the child
    • Emotional ties between parents and the child
    • The ability of the parents to care for the child
    • History of violence or domestic abuse by one parent against the child or the other parent
    • Substance abuse by either parent
    • Child’s ties to the school, home, and his or her community

Entering into a parenting agreement out of court can help the parties arrive at a mutually acceptable arrangement and can significantly reduce your legal expenses that are associated with long and drawn-out court battles.

If you or your spouse are considering divorce, the family law attorneys at Fischer & Van Thiel, L.L.P. can help you negotiate and discuss the terms of a parenting agreement or prepare your case for child custody. We also handle other family law cases such as divorce, child and spousal support, and property division.

Child Custody Disputes

One of the most complicated steps in many divorces is determining primary custody, visitation schedules, and other issues related to caring for children.

Although everyone agrees that arrangements should be made in the children’s best interests, divorcing spouses often have very different ideas about what that means.

San Diego County courts work to protect children’s rights by mandating a mediation process for all divorcing parents through family court services.  Although often called mediation, it is rarely so.

The job of family court services is to develop a recommendation for the court as to what parenting plan is in the best interest of the children, their job is not to “mediate” an agreement.

The Mediation Program

The child custody mediation program is provided free of charge. The basic steps are:

    • Divorcing parents will meet with a court-appointed mediator to discuss custody arrangements.
    • If the parents are unable to find a mutually agreeable solution, the mediator will prepare a report for the judge. This report will outline the common ground between the parents and the issues that still need to be resolved.
    • The judge will develop a custody plan based on each parent’s circumstances and the ability to provide for their children.

How an Oceanside Family Lawyer Can Help

Your attorney will not be allowed to attend the mediation sessions. This does not mean that we cannot be of service during this process. To see the outcome you would like, you need to present yourself in a professional and well-informed manner.

Our attorneys can inform you of your legal rights and responsibilities, prepare you for mediation sessions, and describe what you can expect during this difficult process.

We can also assist you with other areas of your divorce, such as the division of property and post-nuptial agreements.

Clear & Effective Child Custody Agreements

Establishing a clear and effective custody agreement is one of the central issues of any divorce in which children are involved.

Child custody can also be one of the more contentious issues to settle, especially when sole custody is considered and a visitation schedule must be determined.

Coming to a workable agreement on these deeply personal and significant issues requires careful consideration of both the rights of each parent and, more importantly, the best interests of the children.

While your right to be a part of your children’s lives can usually only be limited by extremely serious circumstances, such as a history of domestic violence or substance abuse, ill will between spouses can cause one to seek sole custody or lead to disagreements after the divorce in which a parent’s ability to interact with their children is unfairly limited by an outdated visitation agreement or an uncooperative primary caregiver.

Additionally, it may be necessary for a visitation agreement to be modified in order to impose more restrictions on one parent’s access to a child in light of new developments or circumstances. In either situation, you need to fight for your rights and those of your children.

 

Joint vs. Sole Custody

For parents, one of the most important and emotional aspects of a divorce is deciding child custody and visitation rights.

When these matters are determined in a court setting, the court will always hold the children’s best interests in mind and will make its decision accordingly.

However, custody issues can be settled outside of court so that a fairer agreement can be reached between the two parents.

If you need help deciding child custody issues, an experienced San Marcos Child Custody Lawyer can help you protect your interests and those of your child.

To learn more about your legal options, contact Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP, at 858-935-6211 for a consultation about your case.

Things to Know About Joint & Sole Custody

There are two basic forms of child custody, known as joint custody and sole custody. Ideally, joint custody aims to have the maximum involvement of both of the parents in their children’s lives.

In joint custody, both parents continue to share the decision-making authority of various aspects of their children’s lives, such as medical decisions and education.

Additionally, in joint custody, the non-custodial parent gets the same amount of parenting time as they would have in sole custody.

In sole custody, one parent, the custodial parent, has all the decision-making rights while the other parent has nothing.

Still, sometimes the custodial parent can grant the non-custodial parent visitation rights with the child.

Sole Custody

Going through a divorce can be a difficult time for any couple. However, some people may not realize that divorce is often more complicated than simply parting ways and moving on.

The issue of child custody, for example, can keep people involved in a divorce for a long time and may lead to bitter disputes. This is especially the case when one parent is attempting to gain sole custody of a child.

If you are going through a divorce and dealing with a struggle over child custody, it is important to have an excellent lawyer on your side to protect you and the best interests of your children.

The San Diego child custody lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP can help you get the terms of the divorce that you need. Contact our offices today at 858-935-6211 to speak to an experienced attorney.

Reasons for Sole Custody

There are a number of different conditions in which sole custody of a child may be deemed necessary by the court. These include situations where a spouse has:

  • Put the child in dangerous situations
  • Demonstrated history of violence
  • Engaged in destructive behavior
  • Suffered from mental instability/illness
  • Suffered from drug addiction or alcoholism

These and other extreme conditions may convince a judge that sole custody is necessary to protect the child.

If you need more information on sole custody or help with your divorce proceedings, look no further than the San Marcos child custody attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP.

We are an extremely knowledgeable group of legal professionals that understand the struggles involved in child custody disputes and are dedicated to helping our clients get the best terms possible.

Physical Child Custody

There are many different disputes that may occur during the process of a divorce.

When children are involved in divorce proceedings, the arguments between the spouses suddenly involve the future happiness of their loved ones.

As a parent going through a divorce, child custody is a large part of reaching an agreeable divorce settlement.

If you have questions regarding the physical custody of your children during a divorce, contact the San Marcos divorce attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP at (760) 757-6854 to discuss your situation with a legal professional.

Types of Physical Custody

There are several kinds of physical custody that can be settled upon during a divorce proceeding. Reaching an agreement can be a difficult process, however.

Both parties want what is best for the children. Since the happiness of your child is likely the most important thing to you, choosing the right kind of custody arrangement is essential to both you and your former spouse.

The types of physical custody may include:

  • Joint Custody
  • Sole Custody
  • Non-Parental Custody

Depending on the individual circumstances of the children and parents, typically one of these types of physical custody is granted during a divorce case.

Whether you are going through a divorce or have recently been through a divorce, we would like to help with your pursuit of happiness.

As a parent seeking a fair and reasonable settlement in the custody of your child, it is important that you have an experienced attorney working to help you.

Laws regarding child custody can be complicated, and an experienced divorce attorney can help you reach a fair arrangement.

Grandparent’s Custody and Visitation Rights

The relationship between a child and his or her grandparents can be very special and important to both parties.

Unfortunately, there are many circumstances that can interfere with it.

When parents divorce, pass away or become estranged from their own parents, grandparents may find themselves fighting a legal battle just to spend time with their grandchildren.

If you need assistance protecting your right to spend time with your child or grandchild, the San Diego child custody attorneys at Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP can fight for you.

To schedule an initial consultation, call our offices at (760) 757-6854.

Grandparents Rights

As a general rule, the courts recognize parents’ right to make choices about who can spend time with their children. However, grandparents can petition for official visitation rights if:

  • The child’s parents are currently undergoing custody hearings
  • One of the child’s parents has passed away
  • A third party has received custody of the child
  • They are the parents of the child’s non-custodial parent

In order to receive visitation rights, grandparents must be able to demonstrate in court that:

  • They have an established relationship with the child
  • Continuing this relationship is in the child’s best interests
  • They will not interfere with the child’s parents’ custody or visitation rights

In some cases, a child’s grandparents can also petition for guardianship or custody of the child. If the courts agree, the grandparents may eventually be allowed to adopt the child and obtain full parental rights with regard to him or her. Grandparents may receive child custody if:

  • The child’s biological or adoptive parents have both passed away
  • The child’s parents are found to be abusive or unfit
  • The child’s parents voluntarily relinquish custody to the grandparents

Unfortunately, cases involving child custody can often become highly complex and frustrating for all parties involved. For the experienced guidance you need during a custody hearing, call our San Diego child custody lawyers today.

The Rules of Visitation

If you didn’t get the main custody of your kids in the divorce, then you can look forward to years of visitation rights and custody bickering.

However, although the horizon may seem bleak, there are many things you can do to help the time you do have with your children be the best it can be.

The first thing that usually comes out is something negative about your ex. This is not the way you want to start out your visit.

Think positively so that you and your kids can have fun, no pressure, and always want more time together.

Secondly, if you have found yourself in a less prosperous position than your ex, you should spell it out to your children. Explain that, although it may not be what they are used to, it can still be fun.

Take them on adventures, and make the memories that they will never forget.

Lastly, you need to talk to them and let them talk to you. Sometimes it is not all fun and games. Divorce is extremely difficult for children.

Sometimes they do not have anyone to talk to at home, so seeing the signs of depression can let you help your children in a way your ex cannot.

Enforcing Visitation Agreements Lawyers

Once a visitation agreement has been proclaimed by a court of law, it is very important that both parents uphold that agreement in order to best serve their child or children.

Sometimes, though, one or both of the parents will attempt to get around the visitation agreement in order to spend additional time with their child. For parents who have their child’s best interests in mind, it can be very frustrating when the other person violates the visitation agreement.

If you are a parent whose visitation agreement is not being respected, we may be able to help. We have years of experience fighting for people in your situation.

To learn more about how to enforce your visitation agreement, contact the San Marcos enforcing visitation agreement attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP, today by calling (760) 757-6854.

How We Can Help

There are many legal options that you can take, depending on the severity of the situation. We can handle a variety of enforcing visitation cases, including:

  • The custodial parent moves away with the child
  • The custodial parent refuses to let the noncustodial parent have the agreed-upon visitation by detaining or hiding the child
  • The noncustodial parent kidnaps the child

These are three common ways in which a child visitation agreement can be breached, but there are many other types of situations where your agreement can be broken. If the visitation agreement for your child has been violated, it is important to take legal action as soon as possible.

Visitation Modifications

After a couple settles their child custody issues, the non-custodial parent will usually be granted visitation rights by a court.

Visitation is based on a set schedule that allows a non-custodial parent to see his or her child during certain times of the week.

However, parents sometimes find that they need to modify their visitation schedules, which can happen for a variety of reasons.

If you or someone you love would like to modify your visitation schedule with your child, it is important to understand the legal process.

Contact the San Marcos child custody lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP at (760) 757-6854.

Basis of Modification

Usually, non-custodial parents cannot apply for a visitation modification with the court without reason. There must be some reason to modify the visitation schedule.

Common bases for visitation modification are:

  • Changes in circumstances for either parent or the child
  • Relocation of either parent
  • The child’s preferences

While these conditions are not necessarily guaranteed to make the visitation modification be granted, having at least one of these conditions apply to the situation will usually help justify changing the existing schedule.

Individuals wishing to modify their visitation schedules have to bring their cases before family law courts, so it is important for these individuals to enlist the help of an experienced San Diego child visitation lawyer.

Visitation Agreement Modification Lawyers

Every divorce involves a variety of legal issues regarding property and finances, but the situation is made all the more complex when children are involved.

Following a divorce, a visitation agreement will be set that specifies when each parent may spend time with his or her children.

Parents are legally obligated to abide by the child custody agreement decided upon in their divorce case.

Sometimes circumstances change and the arrangements originally set out in a visitation agreement are difficult or impossible to abide by.

If you are seeking to modify a visitation agreement, contact a San Diego visitation agreement modification lawyer of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP, at (760) 757-6854.

Cases We Handle

If you are facing difficulties because of a restrictive visitation agreement, our attorneys are prepared to help you pursue a favorable resolution.

We can assist with visitation agreement modifications that involve:

  • Relocating
  • Increasing or decreasing visitation hours
  • Changing school break or holiday visitation arrangements
  • Changing the day of the week or time of visitation

When you or your ex-spouse wishes to make changes to your visitation agreement, the changes are not legally binding unless you have your agreement legally modified by the court.

It is therefore important to consult with an experienced family lawyer as soon as possible if you are interested in changing your visitation agreement or if you do not agree with a modification that your ex-spouse is seeking.

Our San Marcos family law attorneys are here for you and can assist with all of your visitation agreement concerns.

Mitigating Child Custody Law Complications From the Legal Process

We know that Child Custody can be an emotional endeavor and sometimes other complicated family matters can detract from the positive experience, so we want to avoid any issues that could have long term affects on you and your loved ones.

Difficulties that can arise when dealing with the complexities surrounding Custody Law, ensuring all the paperwork is completed promptly, filed successfully, and sensitive family situations, and possibly other legal matters are mitigated swiftly.

This is why we have dedicated our Law Firm’s Legal Services Team to providing experienced, professional, and caring Custody Law Representation to each client under our advisement.

Rest assured, that we are prepared whether your case includes other family law situations like an annulment, legal separation, divorce, guardianship, a child custody battle, or pursuing child support, we are prepared and have the time tested experience to assist you with these conflicts, as well.

Our team of Family Law Legal Professionals consistently obtain favorable solutions for our clients developing effective legal arbitration, mediation, and litigation strategies who are struggling with personal and/or marital disputes.

We use our expansive understanding of the Local Court’s Legal Procedures and California State Laws to tailor a plan specific Legal Strategy to the best interest of your family’s unique needs.

California Family Law Practice Area Services

One of the most important aspects to consider when hiring a Child Custody Attorney is how proactive they are when it comes to representing your case.

Your personally dedicated San Marcos Child Custody Lawyer will take preemptive measures to understand your legal situation and all the unique circumstances into consideration to reach the best possible outcome for you and your family.

Our aggressive family case law litigation tactics have proven to be successful year after year through Mediation and in the courtroom resulting in many beneficial resolutions and settlements for our clients. 

Call us at (760) 757-6854 to schedule a complimentary case evaluation with our team.

Family Law Legal Cases We Routinely Handle Involving:

Divorce Law: Including Annulments, Contested, and Uncontested Divorces
Military Divorce Attorney: Experienced with uniques situations of Military Relationships
Mediation: Mediation encourages divorcing spouses to cooperate and avoid trial costs
Child Custody: Including Visitation, Negotiations, Modifications & Enforcement Actions
Child Support: Including Monitary Negotiations, Modifications & Enforcement Actions
Legal Guardianship: Application Preparation, Fitness Assessment, Legal Representation
Adoption: Including Step-Parent, Agency, Private, and International Adoptions
Prenuptial Agreement: We can help you draft and enforce favorable agreements
Paternity: Actions for those seeking custody rights and support payments
Legal Separation Agreement: Traditional and Same-Sex Marriages
Spousal Support (Alimony): Agreements for Spousal Support or Maintenance
Domestic Violence: Including representation for Abuse and those Accused of Abuse
Civil Harassment: We can help you seek a Civil Restraining & Enforcement Orders
Juvenile Court: Including guardianship, juvenile delinquency, and dependency matters
Marital Property Division: Representation as you divide property during divorce
Estate Planning: Including wills and probate

Providing Up-To-Date Legal Advice on Child Custody Law

Our firm focuses exclusively on matters that relate to Child Custody Family law. Concentrating on this practice area allows us to remain current on California’s Child Custody Legal Codes. As a result, we are able to provide cutting-edge legal advice for a range of unique personal legal concerns.

Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP has the Best Divorce & Family Law Attorneys in the Local San Marcos Area who only provide Best Practice Child Custody Law Services with affordable fees.

Our “Family First” Focused Lawyers provide proactive legal solutions that safeguard your current legal situation helping ensure we mitigate future legal issues proactively for you.

We believe it is always best to try to mediate conflicts to help you to avoid courtroom litigation and the fees that accompany this form of dispute resolution, if possible.

Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP Family Law Firm Customer Reviews:

Child Custody Legal Services Review

"Thank you, Michael Fischer, you really are great at what you do."


"Going through a very stressful time Michael Fischer really helped me through it all. He helped me fight my case and took a lot of weight off my shoulders in order to get full custody of my son. He reported back to me all the updates with my case and ended up winning my case!

- Former Client, San Marcos California

Child Custody Legal Services

"Thanks, Thomas!"


"He was there every step of the way. Helped make this custody situation a little more bearable. Thank you, Tom and Linda."- Maria, San Marcos, CA

Divorce Legal Services

"They're very dependable, knowledgeable, and experienced."


"The Fischer & Van Thiel Firm is a great firm. They're very dependable, knowledgeable, and experienced. I definitely recommend them."

- Elizabeth G., San Marcos, CA

Family Law Legal Services

"This office is really good, thanks for everything."


- Patti A., San Marcos, CA

Divorce & Ongoing Family Law Services

"Friendly and knowledgeable — I highly recommend Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP!"


- Allison O., San Marcos, CA

Family Law Legal Services

"Fischer & Van Thiel is a very knowledgeable office and great to work with!"


- Chelsey G., San Marcos, CA

Why Choose Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP

Experienced Family Lawyers Who Care


  • Over 57 Years of Combined Legal Practice Experience

  • Available 24/7 By Appointment, Phone & Video Consult

  • Complimentary 30 Minute Family Law Consultations

  • Committed to Protecting Your Rights & Privacy

  • Always Serving You & Your Children’s Best Interests

  • Affordable & Friendly Family Law Divorce Lawyers

Contact Us Today! or Call Us at (760) 757-6854


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Looking for the Best Family Law Attorneys in San Marcos? Lawyers You Can Trust with Your Family's Best Interests?  Perfect! You Found Us.

San Marcos Law Office
Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP
100 E San Marcos Blvd Ste. 400
San Marcos, CA 92069
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Ph:   (760) 757-6854
Business Hours:

Mon-Fri:   8am - 5pm
Sat & Sun:   Closed