Child Custody Visitation Rights

Over 185 Years of Combined Experience Practicing.

Child Custody Visitation Rights

Many times, clients spend more resources fighting over issues relating to their children than they do about the millions of dollars they have in property value. They may be willing to settle on spousal support, division of assets, and more, but when it comes down to their children parents will usually spare no efforts.

Our custody lawyers in Orange County, CA have relationships with therapists and we can offer one complementary hour of therapy to our clients if they would like to take advantage of it. We take the time to educate our clients on these subjects and on what the potential outcomes will be in court. It is our job to not only help our clients but to educate them on what is right and appropriate under the law and help avoid issues down the road.

Protecting Parent’s Relationships with Their Children

At Moshtael Family Law, we believe every child needs both parents. Many of our clients come to us wanting to have the majority of the time with the kids because they were the primary caretaker.

Absent a parent being a drug-addict, a criminal, a person who committed domestic violence, or any other obvious signs that they are not ready to raise children, they should not be punished for working during their marriage to support their family and as a result, they were not the primary caretaker.

However, such parents need to work up to it. They would need to be realistic and ask for time they can manage or change their schedule so they may be able to spend more time with their kids, then slowly and steadily build up to a point where they can get to (or close to) 50/50 custody arrangement.

At Moshtael Family Law Orange County, our custody attorneys in Orange County, CA can help you protect your parental rights to custody or visitation. Give us a call at today to learn more!

Read an Actual Client Testimonial

"I substituted Navid Moshtael in as my attorney in a very involved custody situation. I have had experience with other family law attorneys and I can say that I have never seen a more well-prepared and highly skilled attorney. He knows the law integrally. Some attorneys would rather negotiate because they fear the courtroom. Navid is about securing results. I highly recommend him and his firm." - Marla M.

Custody & Visitation Laws in California

Visitation folds into custody. A better way to think about it is in terms of custody labels, or physical custody and legal custody:

  • Physical custody is the physical placement of the child or how much time they spend with each parent. Visitation is the amount of time each parent spends with a child, therefore it falls into the umbrella of physical custody.
  • Legal custody is the ability to decide for the health, welfare, and safety of the child. For example, deciding on their medical treatment, the school they go to, their faith, how they dress, and more.

Visitation is limited to physical custody and is primarily determined by a best interest test. These are called “best interest factors” and they include factors such as:

  • Who is the primary caretaker of the child
  • What is the degree of nurturing
  • How much of a bond does either parent have with the child

Conducts such as alcoholism, domestic violence, and more, are all taken into consideration when the court determines how much time the children will spend with each parent.

Minimizing the Trauma of Divorce for Your Kids

Divorce and custody are a very traumatic experience for kids. Quite often parents have to put their children through therapy. Often one parent will alienate the children against the other which can result in a need for reunification therapy. The kids may need a safe environment along with a professional allowing parents to ask them why they aren’t talking to them anymore or wanting to see them.

Moreover, parents may also want to talk co-parenting classes; they are going through a new experience and they may need to be briefly coached through the new process. They need to be equipped with the right knowledge. They may have never gone through a divorce, it would probably make sense for them to see a therapist. Even a couple of sessions may suffice to help them manage their new situation.

How to Help a Child Deal With Divorce

Likewise, the children have probably not gone through it before and if they are like most children, they are terrified at the idea that mom and dad no longer living in the same household. Those parents are most likely not therapists, they are qualified as parents, but they may not be qualified to deal with the emotional and psychological issues that will happen to these kids. Therefore, it may make sense to have the kids see their own therapist to get the right advice throughout the transition.

It is also very common for one or both parents to use the kids as pawns to leverage. In order to prevent this, both parents will need to be educated on:

  • How to manage each other
  • How to work with each other,
  • How to co-parent

We believe this is important because the kids are going to be adults one day and they will find those court documents and read them throughout. They will understand who did what to whom. Every parent wants to be at their kids’ graduation, marriage, and enjoy time with their grandchildren. Taking the steps listed above will help reduce future conflicts.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between legal and physical custody?

If a parent has physical custody, they are responsible for caring for the child day-to-day – the child lives with this parent and they take care of their physical needs. Legal custody gives the parent (sometimes both parents) the rights to make important decisions for the child, on things like education and healthcare.

Can my child determine which parent he/she wants to live with?

In California, a child who is 14 years or older can share their preference with the court, and the court must take their preference into consideration unless it is determined that it is not in the child’s best interest.

We want to figure out our custody arrangement on our own. Do we need to get the court involved?

Yes, if you and your spouse can figure out custody and visitation on your own, then all the court needs to do is approve your agreement. However, in most situations, it is advisable to at least consult with an attorney before finalizing any agreement, as they are long-standing.

Do my parents have a right to custody or visitation?

Grandparents do have legal rights to visitation with their grandchildren – this is something they may need to work with an attorney to enforce if they are being denied time with their grandchildren.

When does child custody end in California?

Typically, custody ends when the child turns 18 or gets married. In California, a person is considered an adult after age 18 and the California custody laws do not apply.

If I do not regularly see my child or have physical custody, do I have to pay child support?

Yes – matters of custody and visitation are separate from child support. If you are being prevented from seeing your child, you need to get the court involved and may need an attorney to assist you. Regardless, you can’t stop paying child support if it has been ordered by the court.

Please call or contact our office online to arrange for an appointment about your case today.

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    Irvine, CA 92614

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    San Diego, CA 92110

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