Few aspects of family law are as emotional as child custody. Losing time with their child is many parents’ greatest fear when they go through a divorce, which is why custody battles can drag on for so long.
However, when both parents consider what is best for the child and put their own personal wishes aside, they can often come to a fair compromise.
If you’re preparing for a custody dispute and you want to protect your parenting time, don’t wait any longer to talk to a child custody lawyer in Orange County. Use our list of attorneys below to find the right one for you.
The state of California recognizes two different types of custody: legal and physical custody. Both can be negotiated by parents or decided by a judge.
Legal custody refers to a parent’s right to be involved in decisions regarding a child’s healthcare, education, religion, and other important choices. In many situations, joint legal custody is the go-to solution. Even if the child lives with one parent and only sees the other periodically, legal custody ensures that both parents have a role in their child’s upbringing.
Physical custody is where the child lives and how their time is split between parents. Joint and sole physical custody are viable options. Joint custody means that both parents get a substantial amount of parenting time each week. The schedule should be roughly equal. The other main option is sole physical custody. In this type of situation, where the child lives with one parent the majority of the time. The other parent may have visitation or they may have supervised visitation with the child, depending on the specific details of the situation.
While the court does consider each parent’s right to spend meaningful time with their child, the court’s primary focus is the best interest of the child. This may mean that one parent doesn’t get as much parenting time as they wish, or even that both parents are unhappy with the court-ordered schedule. Factors involved in the child’s best interest include:
One question that often comes up in child custody cases is, “Can my child decide who they want to live with?” Under California Family Code 3042, the court will allow a child 14 years or older to address the court and talk about custody matters. The court may also do so for a younger child if they determine that the child is of sufficient maturity to do so.
There is a lot that is taken into account in child custody cases, and it’s crucial to advocate for yourself with an attorney. With our list of Orange County child custody attorneys, you can find the right lawyer for your case.