One of the most difficult issues in family law is child custody. When the court is faced with a child custody issue in a case, the main focus of the court is the well-being of the child involved. Every case is unique, as it involves different types of parents and children, and the dynamics on how everyone interacts with each other differs with each case.
The court will look at several factors when considering child custody decisions. This is why having an experienced child custody attorney representing you is critical. You need an advocate that can explain your side to the court, and address any concerns that the court may have regarding your child custody case.
In California, child custody is divided into two types of custody: physical custody and legal custody. Each type of custody deals with different aspects of how your child is cared for by both parents. So how can you work toward a favorable outcome for you and your child?
Physical Custody Defined
Physical custody is how much time your child is physically with you and the other parent. The court can order one parent to have primary physical custody of the child, or physical custody can be held “jointly” between the parents.
If one parent is determined to have primary physical custody of the child, the child is physically with that parent for a majority of the time (more than 50%), and that parent will mostly be responsible for the child’s everyday care and activities.
Legal Custody Defined
Legal custody deals with the determination of which parent will be responsible in making the major decisions regarding the child’s welfare. This includes what school the child should attend, what extra-curricular activities the child should sign up for, and what type of medical care the child should receive. Similar to physical custody, the court can order one parent to have sole legal custody, or for both parents to be have joint legal custody.
“Best Interest of the Child” Standard
When determining child custody, the court will make an order based on what is in the “best interest of the child.” This gives the court huge discretion to review the situation of both parents and compare it to the specific needs of their child.
Generally, in California, the court prefers to order joint physical and legal custody to both parents. This is because California follows the policy that most children would benefit greatly from having both parents actively involved in their lives.
The court will look at several factors when trying to determine what type of physical custody arrangement is in the best interest of your child. Some of these factors include:
- The child’s age and well-being
- What type of emotional connection the child has with each parent
- Who has primarily taken care of the child, and for how long
- How much time each parent has spent with the child
- The ability of each parent to properly care for the child
- Review of each parent’s history of violence, substance abuse, and their current living arrangement
Why You Should Compromise in a California Child Custody Case
One of the reasons why child custody cases are so difficult to resolve is because each parent has their own views as to what is best for their child. Custody cases can last several months because the court will want to take the time to make sure that the custody schedule ordered is best for the child, and that both parents are properly following the court’s orders.
This is why compromising with the other parent can save you time and money. Generally, the court prefers to have the parents agree on a custody schedule. It saves a great deal of time, work, and attorney’s fees for the parents and the court. If you and the other parent are able to find some common ground, it may help you avoid any complications and delay in your case.
The Child Custody Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich are Ready to Help You
At Wallin & Klarich, we understand that going through a child custody case is difficult. The laws regarding child custody are complex and there are many factors that go into determining who will be awarded custody of your child. For this reason, it is important that you seek the assistance of an experienced family law attorney immediately. Our knowledgeable attorneys have over 30 years of experience successfully helping our clients in child custody cases. Let us help you today.
With offices located in Orange County, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Torrance, Riverside, West Covina, Victorville, Ventura, San Diego and Sherman Oaks, our knowledgeable attorneys are available to help you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (888) 749-7428 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.