Orange County Child Custody Attorney
Exclusively Practicing Family Law & Divorce in Orange County
We know how important your children are to you. In the midst of
divorce proceedings, coming to terms with the many legal decisions involving your
children and your parenting rights can be extremely overwhelming. Retain
an Orange County child custody attorney from our firm guide you through
this difficult legal process. We have more than three decades of experience
and are ready to guide you!
Call for a
free initial case consultation today - (714) 888-4830!
Factors Determining Child Custody
The only factors considered in determining custody cases are matters relating
to the child's best interest, including but not limited to:
- Best interests of the child
- Child's wishes
- Ability of the parents to work harmoniously
- Child's health and safety
- Maintaining a stable environment for the child
These dynamics can vary greatly, each having a specific effect on your
family. At W. Douglas McKeague, you will find our experienced Orange County
divorce lawyer who is prepared to assist you in reaching your desired
child custody agreement.
Types of Child Custody Agreements in California
The state of California defines child custody as the rights and responsibilities
between parents for taking care of their children. Child custody agreements
can be created in various ways. A separating couple will have the chance
to create a child custody agreement out of court, but if the couple cannot
reach a mutual agreement that is in the best interests of the child, the
court can intervene and make the decision on behalf of the family.
Custody can be divided in the following ways:
- Legal custody - determines which parent can make important legal decisions
on behalf of the child, including healthcare, education, spiritual affiliation,
welfare, and other decisions
- Physical custody - determines which parent the child will reside with
- Joint custody - both parents can share the rights and responsibilities
for the legal decisions for the child
- Sole custody - only one parent will have the right and responsibility to
make important decisions for the child
Remember, you and your former spouse's legal decisions from today forward
could have a lasting impact on the development of your child. It is our
primary mission to help your family through this time with as little legal
exposure as possible.
Legal custody gives a parent the right and responsibility to make major
decisions concerning a child's welfare and upbringing. Choices regarding
school, religious affiliation, and health care all fall under the parameters
of legal custody.
Within legal custody, there are two options:
Joint Legal Custody: Both parents will share the same rights and responsibility to decision
making regarding the way their child is raised. Parents can share legal
custody without sharing physical custody.
Sole Legal Custody: Only one parent will have legal custody of a child, making all major decisions
without having to run it by the other parent.
Joint legal custody arrangements are usually given preference unless one
parent is judged unfit or incapable of making decisions, or if the two
parents involved absolutely cannot work together amicably. A parent with
sole legal custody can make all major decisions concerning the child without
approval from the other parent. If you believe your former partner is
not suitable for legal custody or would like to obtain sole legal custody,
you will need a strong legal team behind you.
Physical custody decides where the child will live and for what percentage
of the time. As with legal custody, it is subdivided into sole and joint
California law dictates two kinds of physical custody, including:
Joint Physical Custody: In joint custody, the child trades off living with both parents. The living
arrangements are placed in accordance with a schedule set up by the judge,
though not necessarily a 50-50 split.
Sole Physical Custody: If a parent is granted sole physical custody, the child lives with him
or her 100 percent of the time. The other parent will receive visitation
time, but it takes place over much shorter periods of time.
The ruling regarding legal custody doesn't always result in the same
decision in regards to physical custody. For instance, a parent might
be granted joint physical, but sole legal custody.
Custodial vs. Non-Custodial Parent
In cases when one parent has sole physical custody or joint custody for
more than 50 percent of the time, that parent is signified as the "custodial
parent." These custody arrangements usually involve a court-approved
visitation plan applying to the "non-custodial parent."
Bird's Nest Custody
Bird's Nest Custody is a specific type of joint physical custody. In
this arrangement, the child remains in the primary residence and it is
the parents who take turns moving in and out.
Want to Protect Your Parenting Rights? Call Us Today.
Whether you need to obtain a child custody order, are seeking primary custody,
or are facing other important decisions regarding your role in your child's
life, we are here to provide you with effective legal counsel. You will
need to be informed of your rights, your child's rights, and your
Contact our child custody attorney immediately if you have any concerns. We would happily address any of
your pressing anxieties during a free confidential initial consultation.