Orange County Child Custody Attorney
Child Custody Lawyer in Huntington Beach serving all of Orange County and also helping with Visitation and Parenting Plans.
Barbara McNamara is an experienced child custody attorney serving Orange County and surrounding communities.The most sensitive issues in a divorce are often those that involve children. When it comes to determining which parent should have Legal and Physical Custody of the minor children following a separation, you need the right advice from the beginning of your case. I can help you determine what parenting plan schedules are appropriate given the age of your children, and how to navigate the various timesharing options. There’s nothing more exhausting and frustrating than trying to work out custody issues with your former spouse in a long, drawn out custody battle. As a certified family law specialist in Orange County, California, I can help you determine what would be the most beneficial for your children and will advocate for you and your family in court or during mediation.
In California, child custody has two separate issues which are defined separately: Legal Custody and Physical Custody. “Sole legal custody” means that one parent shall have the right and the responsibility to make the decisions relating to the health, education, and welfare of a child. (California Family Code 3006) “Joint legal custody” means that both parents shall share the right and the responsibility to make the decisions relating to the health, education, and welfare of a child. (California Family Code 3003) Most often the Court will order “Joint Legal and Joint Physical Custody.” However, unless the parties further define what “joint legal custody” means to them, it can be confusing to determine how the parents share joint legal decision making. If the parties experienced domestic violence or have serious communication issues, sometimes the Court will grant one party “Sole Legal Custody” of the children. When determining who should have physical and/or legal custody of the minor children, I will listen to the facts of your case, and help you to evaluate whether joint custody is best for your children.
Visitation – Parenting Plans
Child Visitation is now referred to as “custodial time” or “parenting time.” Custody must be awarded based upon what is in the “best interest of the child.” (California Family Code §3040(a).) What does this mean to you? Well, custody needs to be further defined with a “parenting plan,” to determine which parent has physical custody of the children on any given day. As a certified family law specialist, I will work closely with you to determine the parenting schedule that best fits your lifestyle and the needs of your children. The California Family Code 3011 sets forth the issues which the Court must consider when determining what custodial arrangement is in the best interest of the child. The California Family Code 3020 (b) says that it is, “the public policy of this State to assure that children have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage, or ended their relationship, and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities of child rearing…except when that contact would not be in the best interest of the child, as provided in California Family Code 3011.” If the parties cannot agree upon a parenting plan, then it is up to the Judge and your attorney’s argument to determine how the Judge defines “frequent and continuing contact.” If the court has already made orders in your case restricting your parenting time, I can help determine which course of action to take to modify these orders, depending upon the facts of the case. If you don’t do anything to pro-actively seek joint parenting time, one parent will undoubtedly end up as a “weekend” parent, only seeing their children on alternate weekends and a dinner visit during the week.
I can help you outline a parenting plan that can be submitted to the court for approval that supports your parenting beliefs and wishes, in order to ensure that your children have stability whether they are spending time with you or your ex-spouse.
While child custody and other family law issues can be overwhelming, you don’t have to let them take over your life. I can help you manage the legal aspects of what will happen to your children during a divorce, so you can focus on what is really important – your family. Call me today for a consultation: (714) 740-2542
For California state info regarding child custody & parenting time (visitation)