Child Custody & Visitation

Irvine Child Custody & Visitation Lawyer

Serving Parents Throughout Orange, San Diego, & Los Angeles Counties

Child custody and visitation is an issue that parents must settle in a California divorce, separation, or in a paternity case where a biological father seeks to be part of his child’s life. It also may arise in later years when a parent seeks a modification or enforcement of a current custody and parenting order. This issue is one that can divide parents and evoke stress and turmoil for the entire family. Because of this, it is essential that you have a capable and effective family law attorney providing you with the guidance and representation you need as you work through the legal process. 

At Writer Law Group, PC, we put 25+ years of family law practice to work for you; this includes extensive case preparation, negotiation, mediation, and litigation experience. Our Irvine child custody and visitation attorney understands the sensitive nature of this issue, its deep impact on the lives of everyone involved, and how to create optimum solutions that align with the court’s policy of what is in the child’s best interests. 

Put your child custody and visitation case in the hands of a California Family Law Specialist certified by the California Bar. Contact us online or at (949) 353-6151 for a free 30-minute consultation.

Child Custody & Visitation in California

Two types of custody exist under California law. Decisions involving your child’s health, safety, and welfare fall under the umbrella of legal custody. Decisions involving where and with which parent your child will be residing fall under the umbrella of physical custody. Physical custody involves the implementation of a visitation schedule or parenting plan. In both types of custody, the court makes its decisions based on what it believes to be in the best interests of the child.

Legal Custody

In most cases, courts will order joint legal custody. Joint legal custody gives parents the right to make important choices about their child together. It is extremely rare for a court to grant sole legal custody. Courts usually only grant sole legal custody when the other parent has been incarcerated, has a history of drug or alcohol abuse, has been an abusive parent, or has simply abandoned the family. However, even when such facts are present, each case is unique and judges will analyze them on a case-by-case basis.

It is always in the child’s best interest for both parents to take an active part in making decisions regarding the child’s welfare. Some of our clients find that they are unable to work with their spouse, yet the situation does not merit sole legal custody. In such cases we have choices; for example, we can outline exactly which decisions will be made by each parent and incorporate our “tailor-made” definition of legal custody into the final order. Alternatively, the parties can agree to attend counseling or parenting classes.

Courts can use tools to determine the best interest of the child. Three powerful tools are:

  • 730 evaluations. This is when the court appoints a psychologist to evaluate the situation.
  • Appointment of Minor’s Counsel. This when the court appoints an attorney to represent the child.
  • Expedited child custody investigations.

The court normally orders a 730 evaluation or appoints a minor’s counsel in cases involving parental alienation syndrome or in cases where one parent wants to move to a different state or country with the child.

Physical Custody & Parenting Plans

Physical custody involves more of the day-to-day decisions a parent has to make for their child. Parents exercise this type of custody through the implementation of a visitation schedule or parenting plan.

In most cases, even if one parent has physical custody of the children for a higher percentage of time, courts will use the label “joint” physical custody. The trend is to move away from a “win/lose” model of thinking to the idea of both parents, and most importantly, the children “winning.” We empower our clients to think in terms of creating a unique parenting plan that will work for them and their children. 

Parenting plans are detailed schedules of the child’s alternating time spent with parents. They should include how parents will manage holidays, birthdays, vacations, and other unique events and include such arrangements as how parents will exchange children and manage emergencies. 

Contact Writer Law Group, PC Today

Nothing is more important than the wellbeing of your children when divorce is on the table. Our firm is here to honor and protect your child’s rights as well as your parental rights during a custody or visitation case.

Contact us to arrange a consultation with our Irvine child custody and visitation attorney today. 

  • “Whenever I had any questions or even just needed to talk, she was always there to talk about the case or just in general. I highly recommend her and would use her in the future again as needed. She was excellent!” - Krystal G.
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