Child Custody Attorneys in Orange County


Parents fighting for custody of their children during the divorce process often experience an emotional toll. Divorce causes confusion and stress to the minor children as well. The process of establishing custody is often emotionally draining, given that the outcome has a major impact on the lives of those you care for most: your children. This life impact extends to all aspects of everyone involved.  Divorce causes life changes that determine where your children live (physical custody) and who is responsible for making decisions regarding their health, safety and welfare (legal custody), along with many other factors.

There are various forms of custody that is awarded to the parties by Family Court Judges. The court can award joint legal custody to the parents, this is where both parents share the rights and responsibilities of making decisions regarding their child’s health, safety, education, religion, and welfare.  Sole legal custody, is where one parent has the right and responsibility of making decisions regarding their child’s health, safety, education, religion, and welfare without the input of the other parent.

Children are often placed in the middle of their parents acrimony.  Children involved in contested custody battles suffer from stress, depression and anxiety.  It is unfortunate, that some parents use their children as weapons during the litigation process with the intent of inflicting emotional harm on the other parent. This serves to exacerbate the emotional turmoil that parents already experience during a divorce, making hiring an experienced attorney essential in navigating the emotional rollercoaster that comes with custody litigation.


If you find yourself embroiled in a child custody dispute after filing your Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, the next step that must be taken is to file a Request for Order for Child Custody and Visitation. It is important that you illustrate for the court why the parenting plan you are requesting is in the best interest of the children.  It is important to  have an attorney review your forms, before submitting them to the court. When your children are involved it is unwise to take shortcuts.

After your RFO has been filed, both parents will be ordered to participate in the mediation process with Family Court Services.  Mediation provides an avenue for parents to sit down and enter into an amicable agreement with the guidance of experienced trained mediators employed by the family court.  At this stage, the parents will either reach an agreement that will then be reviewed by the court and made into a court order.  If an agreement is not reached then the parties will proceed to litigate the custody and visitation issue at the scheduled court hearing date. If the case goes to court, the judge may appoint a child custody evaluator to create a custody and visitation plan, and/or a lawyer to represent the child.

Each one of these steps is critically important when fighting for custody of your child. The experienced attorneys at Yanez & Associates can help guide you through this long, difficult, and often emotionally taxing process, working alongside you to formulate a comprehensive strategy to protect the best interests of your child. A thorough strategy ensures that a methodical and thoughtful approach is taken before your court hearing or the settlement process, giving you the opportunity to obtain the best possible outcome for you and your family.


If you are not married to your partner, you must file a Petition to Establish Parental Relationship also known as a Paternity action.  You will have the option of requesting genetic testing or waving genetic testing and agreeing that you are the parent of the child in question.  Once the court makes a finding of the existence of the parental relationship, the parent will have rights and obligations. The right to a parenting plan and bond with the child and the obligation to pay child support and obtain medical insurance etc. Hiring experienced family law attorneys will ease the stressful process. An attorney from Yanez & Associates will guide you through the process every step of the way.


Divorce and custody matters are complicated even further by instances of domestic violence, it is even more essential to have a qualified and experienced legal team at your side that can take the quick action that is needed to ensure the safety of all involved. An Exparte request for domestic violence temporary restraining orders may need to be filed right away.  This is an emergency order that protects the victim and the children from the perpetrator of violence.  This process allows for you to obtain temporary child custody and child support and attorney fee orders.  Having an experienced legal team like Yanez & Associates at your side can help you seek emergency custody orders as quickly as possible at a time when every minute counts.

Our Testimonials & Reviews

Read what our Clients are saying...

  • Aava Farokhian Avatar
    Aava Farokhian
    3/18/2020 - Google

    I was surprised by Mr. Yanez honestly and how he tried to help me without demanding any money which is very rare. I could hear his honestly in his voice and how he tried to help with my child support issue. He was very formative, kind and straight forward. I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend Mr. Yanez to any parent or partners. He is amazing, professional and HONEST.
    Thank you Mr. Yanes for your advise, I am in a very good place but I couldn't have done it without you.

    Dorothy Murphy Avatar
    Dorothy Murphy
    2/20/2020 - Google

    They have supported us in my legal circumstances. Highly recommendable!!

    cboys texas Avatar
    cboys texas
    2/19/2020 - Google

    Where do I start !

    Sean Yanez, first off has the most integrity of any lawyer I’ve ever met, we met three years ago, when I contacted him from Northern California and let him know that my wife had moved to Southern California with my three children without my consent, and then she would not allow me to see them, We worked together for six months to put together a strategy that would involve me moving to Southern California getting a place where the children would be happy,Then going to court, in the process we took on the biggest divorce law firm in orange county, and in the end I got all three of my children 50% custody, my ex-wife’s law firm was playing checkers while Sean was playing chess, Our goal from the very beginning was to establish that I was an excellent father, and that all the accusations against me were false, Sean was able to prove this to my ex-wife‘s lawyer to the point in which They decided not even to go to court. I now have my children 50% of the time, full legal and sole custody, this could not have been done without Seans expertise, planning and strategy. If you have a complex case there’s no better firm to go to that Yanez and Associates.

    My family has began the healing process and I will forever be grateful and thankful for Sean and so are my children.

    Colton Irving

    Mark Smith Avatar
    Mark Smith
    2/12/2020 - Google

    Finding good attorneys can be a daunting journey. Best wishes to the law firm.

    Annalise Farris Avatar
    Annalise Farris
    2/08/2020 - Google

    The workers are wonderful and I would not hesitate to use them again.

    Walter Mark Avatar
    Walter Mark
    2/03/2020 - Google

    Thank you for your expert advice with our family law matter. Finding good attorneys can be a daunting journey. Best wishes to the law firm.

    Susan Dominguez Avatar
    Susan Dominguez
    9/26/2019 - Google

    Excellent family law firm. The staff is friendly and very helpful. I would highly recommend the firm. Thank you for the advise.

    heidi boho Avatar
    heidi boho
    8/20/2019 - Google

    Bettina went above and beyond for us. We had a very complicated and difficult family case, supposedly “unwinnable” according to other lawyers. She was excellent about getting to the heart of the matter and presenting a solid case for a win. It’s important to have someone like her who is patient and knowledgeable during these types of stressful times, who is focused on your case more than just their billable minutes. Highly recommend.

    Tony Marmolejo Avatar
    Tony Marmolejo
    8/13/2019 - Google

    I highly recommend Yanez and Associates, Sean Yanez did a great job in my divorce case and custody of my kids. Thank you!

    Ismael Galarza Avatar
    Ismael Galarza
    6/25/2019 - Google

    Great service prompt responses all around excellent law firm answered all my questions and exceeded expectations thank you for the help

    hua hua Avatar
    hua hua
    6/23/2019 - Google

    The people’s here is really honest they never waste your time .i really like their service!

    Aisha Zaky Avatar
    Aisha Zaky
    12/26/2018 - Google

    Yanez and associates were court appointed to represent my children during child custody proceedings. Mrs Shary, one of the associates, made the children feel at ease during the interview, and really listened to them. At the hearing, she was extremely fair, did her due diligence in familiarizing herself with the case and past issues, and made the children's wishes known to the judge. After over 5 years of battling in court, we couldn't have asked for a better outcome. Highly recommended!

    Erik Bartik Avatar
    Erik Bartik
    10/24/2018 - Google

    I would highly recommend Ms.Yanez to anyone needing a great family law attorney! Most importantly she cares, listens to your needs, works extremely hard, is smart and will truly fight for you. She is really good at what she does.

    Jim Ceja Avatar
    Jim Ceja
    9/30/2018 - Google

    I cannot thank Yanez & Associates more! We had a very difficult and very personal case. They did everything in their power to fight for us and be there for us through the whole process. I would like to personally thank Mr. Sean Yanez and especially Iraida Oliva! We could not have asked for a better person to be in our corner than Iraida. She put in many long and difficult hours to help us and we appreciate everything and couldn't have asked for more!! I know we wouldn't have been able to have done this by ourselves.

    Sandra Bales Avatar
    Sandra Bales
    9/15/2018 - Google

    Hiring a divorce attorney for your family law matters is not always easy. Often times we hear horror stories about hiring divorce attorneys that do not know what they are doing. When I first met attorney Yanez I knew she was the right family law attorney for me. Her honest answers are greatly appreciated. She does not sugar coat it, she tells it like it is. If you are thinking of a divorce or require an attorney for a family law case, consider calling attorney Yanez.

    Douglas Borthwick Avatar
    Douglas Borthwick
    9/11/2018 - Google

    Putting her legal skill and knowledge aside which is exemplary, Bettina has a quality that is equally important and that is unbridled passion for protecting and fighting for her clients. She is high energy and has a heart of gold.

    There are a handful of top notch attorneys in Orange County and she is certainly among them, but it's her zeal and caring demeanor that really sets her apart from the rest. You can't teach this. You either have it or you don't, and she has it without question. Thanks Bettina.

    Mauricio Zuniga Avatar
    Mauricio Zuniga
    8/05/2018 - Google

    OMG I would never have enough words to describe Iraida Oliva’s awesome service, this woman is an Angel sent from above, it’s like she is meant to help dudes like me who are dumb when it comes to the court thang . She was very helpful and very informative of my case. I have full custody of my 14yr old girl . Recently her mother came back in the picture and did her best to take me down, now my ex ( baby momma) is a paralegal who tried to intimidate me many times and to be honest I was scurd. But this amazing woman did everything for me and very fast . It almost seems as if she was a super hero helping the weak like myself. We went to court one time and I didn’t even say one word. She stood up and looked at the judge in the eye and used her Atty. to Judge talk which by the way it has always been a different language to all I understood was your honor can we take this case of the calander and the judge said Sure... of the calandre and that was it she closed the case .... i still have full custody of my child and all because Iraida Oliva made it possible.... man she Rocks i wanted to high five her in court but i waited to till we walked out of the court room .
    Iraida wasn’t expensive at all she will work with you . I would definitely hire her again ......

    Thank you Iraida your theee best...

    Joseph Hernandez Avatar
    Joseph Hernandez
    9/28/2014 - Google

    Mrs. Yanez is at the top of her class! She is fully knowledgeable of family law and more than adequate to take on any case. Prior to coming to Yanez and Associates, my divorce had dragged on for 2 years. I went through 3 different lawyers who gave me the run around and were never clear on the definitive law. I spent a lot of money with those lawyers and in the end it seemed as if I worked for them! As soon as I met with Bettina, she knew exactly where I was coming from and gave her recommendations as to what "we" should do next. She is professional and her work ethic is top notch. You will feel as if your apart of a team - Team Yanez! Her staff is always available and it feels as if they are working for you. If you want a bulldog lawyer who is knowledgeable and experienced in every aspect of family law I highly recommend Bettina.

    Robbie Stevenson Avatar
    Robbie Stevenson
    9/01/2014 - Google

    I strongly recommend Bettina Yanez and her legal team. Bettina was upfront and honest during my free consultation. She suggested I explore all remedies before considering divorce and recommended a marriage counselor. Other firms I consulted with were just interested in getting me divorced. I felt attorney Yanez was truly interested in my well being and not just generating more business. Three months later it looks like things will work out. Many thanks, again I will recommend attorney Yanez and her firm to all my friends and family. God bless you.

    Xochtil Miranda Avatar
    Xochtil Miranda
    9/02/2013 - Google

    When I came across Bettina Yanez law firm I had hired an attorney to help me with my divorce and child custody. I did not feel comfortable with the attorney, it wasn’t lack of knowledge I did not feel he cared for my case but only for my money. Angelica one of the paralegals from Yanez team help me every step of the way from the day I hired them to the day my divorce was finalized. They not only care for their clients but they go the extra mile even after the case has settled.
    Yanez team also gave me the option of reasonable monthly payments. I strongly recommend Bettina Yanez for any who needs from an experience attorney help in their divorce/ child custody. They fight for the rights of the child.