You have filed a Dissolution of Marriage action or you have been served with a Dissolution of Marriage action and now your mind begins racing. How is Child Custody Determined in California? How will the children react to these changes? Who is going to get the children?
Child Custody is determined in various ways:
You and your spouse/partner can enter into an amicable agreement where both parties decide on a parenting/custody schedule. You are the ones that know your schedules and the needs of your children and therefore, you and your spouse/partner are the ones best suited to decide who the children will physically live with and how each party will share parenting time with each child of the relationship.
If the two of you can not seem to agree, you can try to hire a neutral third party to mediate the issue and assist you to come up with a plan that is in the best interest of your minor children.
If there are other issues that need to be determined first, such as domestic violence issues, substance abuse issues, etc., all of which can have an impact on the custody of the children, you may need to request and or stipulate/agree to participate in a child custody evaluation. If all else fails, the parties can file paperwork with the court to get a trial date so that a Judicial officer can make the determination as to who will get legal and physical custody of the children.
Child custody can be granted as follows: sole custody to the father, sole custody to the mother or the parties can share joint legal and physical custody.
Legal Custody deals with who makes the decisions as to the health, safety and welfare of the minor children while Physical custody deals with who the minor children will live with.
For assistance from a quality Orange County Custody Attorney who is certified as a family law specialist call 714-971-8000.