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Orange County Child Custody Lawyers

An Overview of Child Custody in California

In most cases, California courts seek to award joint physical custody of children, which simply means that parents will share custody at some level. The issue for most parents therefore is not who will get custody, but rather, how will custody be shared? Will you become an "every other weekend" parent? Is there a reason why your children should have less contact or supervised contact with your former spouse? It's easy to get hung up on all the questions and potential custody problems — it is imperative that you call an Orange County family law attorney to take steps to protect your loved ones.

Types of Custody in California

There are two main types of custody in California: sole custody and joint/shared custody. In sole custody orders, only one parent is granted certain rights to their children, while the other parent may be restricted to visitation rights or prohibited from making major decisions for the child. In joint/shared custody, physical and legal custody is divided between parents.

Sole custody can be broken into three categories:

  • Exclusive custody
  • Sole physical custody
  • Sole legal custody

Joint/shared custody is categorized as the following:

  • Pure joint custody
  • Joint physical custody
  • Joint legal custody
  • Split custody

Who Will Get Custody?

Child custody may not be determined by any one element of a divorce. When judges make decisions on custody arrangements, they assess the family situation and apply a "best interest of the child" test in order to determine whether a custody order will benefit the child's safety, health, and future. By presenting as much information as possible and being open to cooperation with the other parent, you may be able to attain a positive custody arrangement that works in the best interest of you and your family.

What factors are considered in determining custody?

The top priority of the family court is the well-being of the children in question, and the judge will always consider what is in the best interest of the child when determining custody.

Some of the factors the court will take into consideration include:

  • The child's age, gender, and health
  • The child's relationship to and bond with each parent
  • How separation will affect the relationship between siblings
  • Protecting the stability of the child's environment
  • The wishes of a child of proper age to make a decision
  • The child's ability to maintain a relationship with both parents
  • Any history of abuse by either parent
  • Any history of violent crime by either parent
  • The habitual or continual use of drugs or abuse of alcohol by either parent

In your child custody case, the California family law judge will assess your child's current situation and the lives and behavioral patterns of both you and your former partner in order to help determine what they believe is the best situation for your child. It is important that you retain an Orange County divorce lawyer from my team at Kevin B. Gibbs, APLC to protect your rights and interests, as well as those of your children.

More Information About Child Custody:

Need a child custody lawyer in Orange County, CA?

As a certified family law specialist, I have the experience to help you craft a custody agreement that preserves your relationship with your children. If relocation is necessary, I can help you understand the impact of a move on your current custody orders. I can also assist you with custody enforcements or future custody modifications should circumstances change. I offer a free initial consultation, which I will try to schedule within 48 hours.

Learn more about how to get custody and other ways in which my firm is prepared to help you — contact Kevin B. Gibbs, APLC at your earliest convenience.