5 Things You Need to Know Before Selecting a Child Custody Attorney in Orange County
Going through a divorce or separation is a difficult time for any family.
You need to consider so many factors when choosing a child custody attorney in Orange County. It’s easy to feel lost and confused.
We know you want the best possible outcome for you and your children. In order to prepare, you need to fully understand your case and educate yourself on your parental rights.
Make sure to meet with a qualified and experienced lawyer to discuss your full range of options.
Understanding Family Law and How It Applies to Your Case When Choosing a Child Custody Attorney
There are four types of custody in the state of California: legal, physical, sole, or joint.
A parent with legal custody is responsible making the child’s important decisions when it comes to school or healthcare. Physical custody determines who the child lives with.
Parents – and the court – may decide on either sole or joint custody. Sole custody gives one parent more authority over the other in regards to education, medical decisions, religion, and so on. Most parents seek sole custody when the other parent’s lifestyle could pose a danger to the child’s wellbeing.
If you and your partner can both provide stable and safe homes, you may opt for joint custody. Joint custody gives both parents equal footing when it comes to making important decisions for the child.
You have sole legal custody, joint legal custody, sole physical custody, and joint physical custody.
Tensions can run high. When browsing child custody attorneys in Orange County, make sure to find someone who will put the child’s needs first above emotion.
2. The Child’s Age Matters
Children have different needs at different ages. A newborn baby and a teenager present two totally different challenges when it comes to providing a safe and stable environment.
In fact, child custody situations are usually re-evaluated every two or three years to ensure the child is living in the best possible situation. When your children reach the age of 14, in the state of California, they have the option to state their living presence in court.
When children are very young (under ten) it is important to maintain a routine schedule at each residence. Young children should also spend a considerable and consistent amount of time with each parent because they need solid role models.
Children over ten as well as teenagers still need stability, but they also need the flexibility to help decide their own schedules. Discipline should always remain constant at both households.
3. Understand Your Parental Rights with the help of a custody attorney
The state of California grants equal rights, obligations, and considerations to both parents regardless of gender. Your judge and the court look at several factors before deciding which custody arrangement would best suit the needs of your child.
As a default, California law favors joint custody so each parent has an equal amount of time with the child or children. However, if one parent poses a significantly unstable or dangerous risk to the child’s wellbeing, sole custody may be granted to one parent.
Except in cases of abuse or domestic violence, all parents have the right to spend time with their child either supervised or unsupervised.
Both parents also have a responsibility to equally support their child financially. This includes child support payments. In certain scenarios, this could also include one parent requesting the other parent find work to help support the child.
Fathers unaware of their child’s existence also have the right to meet and spend time with them through visitation.
4. Facing or Seeking Child Support: What it Means
Every child has the right to receive financial support from both parents and either parent may file a court order for financial support.
The state of California uses a specific formula to decide each parent’s financial obligations. Your judge and the court will look at several factors including income, potential income, savings, health expenses, other living expenses, and a wide variety of other details. They also consider how much time each parent spends with the child.
This financial support may also cover daycare expenses so the parent with primary custody may continue working. Child support orders can be modified if a parent’s financial situation changes down the road.
What will you do if your partner suddenly stops paying child support? Choose an experienced child custody attorney in Orange County so you can plan ahead a route for financial support such as wage garnishments, liens, or other legal actions.
5. Custody may be Settled Out of Court
If you and your partner communicate well or are on fairly good terms, you can avoid a nasty court appearance by settling your custody agreement other ways. A brutal court experience is difficult for everyone involved: especially the children.
Instead of putting your family through the stress, consider several out-of-court legal options. Parents may privately create a custody agreement which could become a court order if approved by a judge.
If the parents find themselves at-odds, mediation becomes the next step. Finally, if the parents still do not agree, they will have to appear in court in front of a judge.
Whether you’re considering a court appearance or mediation, you need an experienced child custody attorney in Orange County on your side.
Meet with a Custody Attorney in Orange County Today
If you’re facing a divorce or separation, the best thing to do is immediately meet with a qualified custody attorney. Explain your financial situation and custody goals. By providing a thorough breakdown of your case, your lawyer can help you understand your rights and options.
Don’t wait for something to go wrong, schedule an appointment today. At Yanez & Associates, we provide free, no-strings-attached consultations and we’re available 24/7 to take your call.