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Dedicated Legal Help from an Irvine Child Custody Attorney

Child custody disputes are among the most heavily contested issues in California divorce. Michel & Rhyne understands the importance of protecting clients’ parental rights. Parents want to raise their children in their own home and make important decisions involving their children’s education, religion, and health care. Attorneys play a critical role in establishing the nature and extent of a parent’s rights towards their children upon divorce. You need experienced child custody attorneys you can trust to properly represent your parental interests.

Components of California Child Custody: Legal & Physical Custody

Disputes over child custody in California involve two component parts—legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is a parent’s right to make fundamental decisions regarding their child’s upbringing. These decisions include where a child will go to school, what religion a child will follow, and what medical treatment, if any, a child will receive. Physical custody involves a child’s physical care and supervision. Physical custody essentially designates with whom a child will live on a daily or weekly basis. A qualified Irvine family lawyer is vital in custody disputes because the outcome dictates to such a great extent a parent’s rights and involvement in their child’s life.

Differences Between Joint and Sole Child Custody

Both legal and physical child custody in California can be the shared privilege of both parents or the sole privilege of one. Parents in joint custody arrangements must cooperate with each other regarding fundamental parenting decisions, and are each entitled to frequent and substantial contact with the child. Even when one parent has sole custody of a child, the non-custodial parent is usually entitled to some type of visitation. You should also be prepared to address child support since the issue is typically raised in conjunction with custody.

Factors California Courts Consider in Deciding Child Custody

Like alimony, courts weigh a number of relevant factors in making child custody determinations. Primary consideration is always given to a child’s overall best interests. Factors courts typically consider include a child’s health, safety, and welfare; either parent’s ability to provide a stable household; and whether a child already has an established living pattern. Experienced child custody lawyers can identify what sort of factors would be most relevant in your case.

Consult our Skilled Child Custody Lawyers in Irvine Today

If child custody is an issue in your divorce, contact Michel & Rhyne. We can help make sure your parental rights are properly represented.