Joint and Sole Custody

Experienced Child Custody Lawyers Representing Parents in Orange County

When a divorce happens, custody determinations often need to be made. While parents may want unlimited access to their children, the reality in most situations is that they must adhere to a mutually agreed upon or court ordered parenting plan. When facing any type of custody issue, it is critical to consult an experienced Orange County child custody attorney who can review the facts of your case and help protect your rights as a parent. The attorneys at the Law Offices of David P. Schwarz have more than two decades of experience and are committed to pursuing an appropriate outcome for parents who seek their assistance.

Understanding the Difference Between Joint and Sole Custody

In California, there are two types of custody: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is the right of a parent to make decisions about the child’s health, safety, education, religious affiliation, travel plans, and general welfare. Physical custody refers to the time that a parent has a child in their care.

Legal custody may be joint or sole. Joint custody is when both parents share the right and responsibility to make important decisions about the child’s upbringing. As a result, in joint custody arrangements, the parents must work together to make these decisions. Sole custody refers to when only one parent has the right and responsibility to make these types of decisions.

Physical custody may also be joint or sole. Joint physical custody refers to a living arrangement in which the child spends a similar amount of time with each parent. Sole or primary custody is when the children live with one parent for the majority of the time but have visitation with the other parent. It is important to note that when multiple children are involved, there is a legal presumption that keeping siblings together is in their best interest. Thus, the court generally will not split siblings unless there is a compelling reason to do so.

All custody determinations in California are made based on what is in the best interest of the child. The court has the power to consider any factor that may be relevant in making this determination. Some factors that the court will typically examine include the child’s age, the child’s preferences, the child’s adjustment to their current home, school, and community, each parent’s ability to cooperate with the other parent, and the child’s health. Moreover, the court will also examine whether either of the parents has a history of any type of abuse, neglect, or abandonment.

Retain an Orange County Attorney for a Child Custody Matter

Cases involving child custody may be emotional and complicated for everyone involved. If you are facing custody issues, you should speak to an experienced Orange County child custody lawyer as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of David P. Schwarz, we understand that each family is different and faces unique challenges. We can assist parents in Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills, San Clemente, Dana Point, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Yorba Linda, Orange, Irvine, and Newport Beach, as well as other Southern California cities. To discuss your case in more detail, call 949-735-9266 or contact us online to set up a free consultation with a family law attorney.