Newport Beach, Irvine Visitation Attorneys
Preservation of your relationship with your child or children is likely the most important aspect of your family law matter. In making the appropriate order for custody of your children, the court will look to factors such as maintenance of the status quo and the best interests of the children. In most cases, the court will strive to preserve an active role for both parents in their children's lives. The court will look at the way the family has been functioning as a guide for how future relations between the parents and children should be retained. Maintenance of a safe and secure status quo for the children can be a great source of emotional stability for them in a time of chaos and emotional uncertainty.
At the Law Offices of Lemkin, Barnes & Row, Inc., our Orange County child custody attorneys bring decades of family law experience to the aid of our clients. Additionally, our attorneys are Certified Specialists in Family Law (certified by the Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California). Let us help you create a child custody and parenting agreement that will help you preserve your relationship with your children.
Legal and Physical Custody
In California, child custody is divided into legal and physical custody:
• Physical custody — describes with whom your child lives, and for what time periods. Also referred to frequently as "time sharing" between the parents.
• Legal custody — describes the right to make decisions about major elements of how your child is raised such as religion, education, health care, and other welfare issues.
If the parents are unable to reach an agreement regarding how to share legal and physical custody of their children, the court will craft issue orders in both of these areas. The court also often desires the input of child custody evaluators, who are mental health professionals specializing in divorce matters, to look at your family's situation. The evaluators provide recommendations to the court based on their interviews with the parties, the children, and other persons with knowledge specific to the family. Our firm works in conjunction with the parents and the evaluator, ensuring the evaluation proceeds effectively and efficiently.
The term "visitation" is being replaced by the courts with the term "time sharing." The term "time sharing" is intended for the parties to recognize the importance of involvement by each parent, by giving the allocation of custodial time between the parents a more neutral title.