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Child Custody Lawyer
updated: Dec 04, 2012, 4:37 PM

Can Edhat readers recommend the best attorney in town for child custody issues?

Places People Are Talking About:

Dan MurphyMaureen GrattanPaul Capritto
Tracey Rangel Cruz

What People Are Saying:

 COMMENT 350279P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 06:16 PM

Chris Brown. Hands down!


 COMMENT 350289 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 06:29 PM

I had very good results with Susanna Pullen.


 COMMENT 350293P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 06:44 PM

I've mentioned this before and I know it's not a recommendation, just general advice, but be very aware that all the local family law attorneys work with one another and confer "off record" regarding settlements and terms. It is not, strictly speaking, collusion, but it's something always to be aware of. Also, gender is always an issue, yours, your attorney's etc. in how things may be perceived. I don't mean for this to sound sexist (I'm a male, had a female attorney who was "okay," hence no direct recommendation) and I did prevail, but it was no fun for anyone and, as even some lawyers will admit, only they (the attorneys) really come out ahead in the end.


 COMMENT 350305 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 07:13 PM

It really depends upon many factors--what are the circumstances, allegations, etc? Who is the attorney on the other side? Some attorneys are better working with some other attorneys. How much money do you have to spend? There is no generic answer to this question. I am an attorney (not family law) and I have seen these things blow up out of all proportion, get side-tracked, nearly bankrupt people, etc. Sorry, but this is hard stuff. Be careful.


 COMMENT 350336 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 08:14 PM

Paul Capritto knows his stuff, and works to do what is best for the chlidren involved.


 COMMENT 350337P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 08:18 PM

Paul Capritto is the best. And, (somewhat unusual for a family law attorney) is a very good human being.


 COMMENT 350343 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 08:48 PM

Maureen Grattan. Not only is she a fabulous attorney and mother, she volunteers hundreds of hours to the Dos Pueblos Mock Trial Program. Quality attorney, quality role model, quality human being.


 COMMENT 350370 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-05 06:45 AM

How about you and your significant other (spouse?) sit down with a mediator and try to work it out? The Superior Court offers free mediation and attorneys are not needed. Most custody cases handled by attorneys turn into costly fiascos which can empty your bank account and leave you and your child scarred for life.

The $10,000 to $100,000.00 you will spend (trust me on this one) is your child's education money and your retirement.

Obviously at some point in life you hooked up, really dug each other and had a child. Can you return to that civility for the sake of the child?


 COMMENT 350410 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-05 08:35 AM

Avoid the attorney if you possibly can. CA divides things in half. You should be able to get joint custody without any litigation. Only if you absolutely need to exclude your formerly significant other--and there had better be a good reason such as child abuse--should you need an attorney. 370 is right about this. I've been there and mediation is the best approach.


 COMMENT 350426 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-05 09:15 AM

Any attempts to be reasonable between two people who are obviously getting a divorce for adversarial reasons is difficult at best. The problem is that many so called divorce lawyers simply capitalize on this strife by running up and churning up huge legal bills over nothing issues much like the proverbial saying about throwing gasoline on a fire instead of water. Unfortunately many unethical divorce lawyers are more interested in bleeding their clients dry, blaming the other attorneys and the other spouse/client, because that is how they make lots of money. In this scenario, the only way a reasonable settlement may be reached on any issue, is when the clients run out of money and assets to pay the $250 to $500 dollar and hour fees churned up over nothing!


 COMMENT 350435 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-05 09:28 AM

Some of the mediators in SB are not known for their "fairness" and often do more than "mediate" making an attorney essential. I feel sorry that one parent wouldn't want to make a fair go at allowing their child to spend 50% of their time with the other parent. Some parents don't give a crap at all and leave their children to go on about their own selfish business. As far as a referral - I have heard great things about Paul Capritto. If he can't (or won't) take your case he will be able to suggest a great alternate. Understand that these attorneys have "friends" everywhere. Sometimes the key is finding the one with the right friends!
Good luck.


 COMMENT 350444 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-05 09:40 AM

Tracey Rangel Cruz. A good attorney and a good person.


 COMMENT 350450P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-05 09:46 AM

Often the reason one parent wants more than an equitable 50% custody arrangement (which is fair to both parents and healthiest for the child or children) is that more custody time = more child support $. There are some parents out there who will try for keeping the kids M-F and "let" the other parent (usually the father) have the child/children every weekend. With school aged children that means the one that has the kid(s) M-F has less "face-time" with them, has free weekends to date and do whatever else they want, and gets more child support $ than they would if it was an 50/50 split. These types of incentives are why divorce lawyers make the big bucks.


 COMMENT 350455 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-05 09:53 AM

I let my kids go with their father all the time, we were never married and he hasn't paid a dime of support.


 COMMENT 350488 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-05 10:53 AM

Alec Baldwin..of all people, wrote a pretty good book about the journey you will soon be going through. It is called A Promise to Ourselves. This book is a good overview of what not to do to your child as a parent during these proceedings. How the parents actions against one another can affect the child and ruin lives. If you check yourself, and the other parent can do the same, it will be a lot less painful for all of you.


 COMMENT 350531 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-05 12:02 PM

I would suggest Dan Murphy, Isobel Murray or Jaqueline Misho. They are all quite good and respected. Plus, all have a good repoire with the judges and commissioners. That's important.


 COMMENT 350559 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-05 01:22 PM

450 I totally agree with you. People often forget that what's important - which is what's best for the children. People are very selfish and the children pay for their parent's selfishness. Very sad.


 COMMENT 350603 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-05 03:36 PM

No the parents will eventually have to pay for being selfish.


 COMMENT 350639 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-05 05:01 PM

Watch out for the slime organization in Goleta called "About The Children" - they are a national scam company that tries to close people with a monthly credit card payment and then do little to help them with their custody issues. Totally preying on poorer uneducated people overwhelmed by legal issues. Again - a total slime organization -I know two people who worked there. Ruben Trevino runs it - what a piece of work he is.


 COMMENT 350688 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-05 06:52 PM

Depends on whether you want to create custody issues or solve them. If you want to solve them (or better yet, prevent them) a good mediator is the place to start whenever possible. California does tend to cut everything in half - including the babies - generallt sawing through them with a dull rusty blade.


 COMMENT 418919P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-06-09 11:57 PM

Capritto and Murphy - you have got to be kidding.

Murphy is a sociopath, criminal defense lawyer and has a horrible reputation amongst his peers in addition to a very serious personal issue. If you want the most erratic, unethical out of control liar in town he's your "man." Unfortunately, that is indeed what some people/sociopaths want but that is not what is best for children. He could care less about children - it is entirely about money for that disgusting, hateful, dishonest loon.

Capritto talks the talk but won't file necessary paperwork that will actually help you and your children. Also has some "focus" issues. Many people have stated they think Capritto posts his own accolades on these sites. I think deep down he's a nice guy but he has the sickness that one acquires in this destructive area of the law which destroys the lives of children and REWARDS THE BEST LIAR,

Both engage in therapist shopping and regularly employ crooked "custody evaluators" located in the La Arcada building - KD and PSF are 2 that come to mind. Stay far away from them as well - really.

(Also look out for KD's husband he is extremely creepy and has threatened me on State Street because I found out about the unethical activities his wife was engaging in) He's also a criminal defense attorney - nice huh?

Unfortunately our legal system and certain ill, medicated judges allow unethical, dishonest, hateful animals such as these to persist and psychopath clients employ them. Capritto's probably the most harmless of the lot, but as for lawyering - no way. It's back door deal making and exparte communication with unethical therapists who happily destroy children for cash under the guise of the caring MFT.

The outcome is predetermined behind the scenes. Whoever can provide the most future income/clients to KD et al "wins" while the children involved lose and are the ones whose lives are destroyed by small minded, greedy beasts (hired by psychopaths)whose licences should be revoked and should face criminal charges.

This is the truth and is not an overstatement. This has been written to help people and their children.


 COMMENT 419742P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-06-12 09:39 AM

If you hire Chris Brown be sure you pay him the smallest possible retainer (no more than 2,500.00) because he will steal the unused portion of your reatainer and not return it if you no longer need his services.

He wasn't effective in helping my children and was only concerned with money and acquiring and distributing as much as possible.


 COMMENT 499219 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-01 04:56 PM

Marcus Morales. He knows how to get results. He is not in the "good old boys" club so while he is respected in the legal community he is not afraid to fight for his clients. In my child custody case he got the other lawyer to drop my ex request for sole custody and I got my babies back in my life. I owe him big for his work. In my opinion best Santa Barbara child custody lawyer!



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