Fullerton Child Custody Attorney2023-12-13T11:48:04+00:00

Whenever a couple decides to part ways, there can be many ramifications. Whether they were involved in a casual relationship or in a marriage, their commitment to one another, no matter how long, may produce lasting memories. In some cases, those relationships create physical connections that will forever bond the two individuals together, and that is the joy of children.

If the relationship ends, it can cause complications beyond themselves. While the hope is that the two parents can resolve their separation amicably and decide on the best possible solution for everyone involved, that isn’t always the case. When a couple separates and is unable to come to an agreement about where the children will live, the law provides parameters to parents to make decisions that best suit any children involved.

However, there are many options available to separating parents who cannot reach an agreement on their own before it is litigated in court. With the help of an experienced family law attorney, like those at the Dorie A. Rogers, APC, your best interests and those of your children will be the focus of settling your child custody or visitation agreement.

Types of Custody

California recognizes two different types of custody. Legal custody is the designation for the parent who has the right to make decisions on behalf of the child. The second type is physical custody, and that is with whom the child physically lives.

Both legal and physical custody can be awarded solely or jointly.

  • Sole legal custody. One parent is awarded full rights to make decisions on behalf of the child for major decisions such as health, education, and general welfare.
  • Joint legal custody. Both parents share the rights and responsibilities for making decisions that impact the child, including health, education, and general welfare.

Specifically speaking, legal custody decisions can include decisions such as what school they will attend, what religious activities they will participate in, who will handle physical or mental health needs, who the primary care physician will be, travel needs for the child, and where they will live. These decisions, amongst others, are to be made in the best interests of the child.

When the same designations are applied to physical custody, it can look like the following:

  • Sole physical custody. The child lives with one parent for the majority of the time and has visitation rights with the other parent for other times.
  • Joint physical custody. The child shares time equally with both parents.

While joint custody seeks an equitable share of the child between the parents, it does not mean that it is an exact 50/50 split. Factors such as school location could have an impact on how much time the child spends with each parent. In cases where it is not exactly split, there may be one parent that is designated as the “primary custodial parent.”

One type of custody does not imply that the other type will be awarded the same. There may be situations, for example, where a parent is awarded sole physical custody, but parents are granted joint legal custody. The determination is also with the best interests of the child in mind.

Types of Visitation Orders

Visitation in child custody cases refers to how parents will share their time with the child. If a parent has the children less than half the time, then they will be granted some sort of visitation schedule. Visitation orders are a combination of the child’s best interests, parental situations, and other factors. Visitation orders can look a number of different ways, including:

  • Visitation according to schedule. These types of detailed plans are issued by the courts and outline the days and times that visitation will occur. This can include special occasions and holidays. This type of arrangement is often in the best interest of the parents because it specifies the schedule that should be followed, eliminating any confusion.
  • Reasonable visitation. Unlike scheduled visitations, these open-ended arrangements place the power in the hands of the parents to make their own decisions together about the visitation schedule. This arrangement is best for parents who can remain amicable and communicative with each other in order to make the decisions for the child that is in their best interests. Unfortunately, the downfall here is that if there are any disagreements or arguments that arise, it often comes at the cost of the child’s right to visit the other parent.
  • Supervised visitation. If there is concern over the child’s physical, emotional, or mental safety, but not so severe that the parent cannot see the child, there can be arrangements that include supervised visitation that requires both parents, an adult outside of the parents or a professional agency to be present at the time of visitation. Some benefits to this type of agreement are if one parent has been absent from the child’s life for an extended period of time, and there is a need to reacclimate the child and the parent together.
  • No visitation. If there is a situation where one parent would be physically, emotionally, or mentally harmful, they may be granted no visitation even if that visitation would otherwise be supervised. If this order is given, it is assumed that visitation is not in the best interest of the child.

How the Law Decides Custody and Visitation

When deciding with whom the child will live or who has custodial rights in Fullerton, CA, the number one factor is what is best for the child. That means considerations will include many of the following:

  • The child’s age
  • Any of the child’s health concerns
  • The emotional ties between the child and the parents
  • How much care can a parent provide the child
  • The history, if any, of substance abuse or domestic violence
  • How tied the child is to the community, home, or school

When deciding custody or visitation, the gender of either parent is not considered. It is illegal to use protected characteristics such as gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, and others to make legal decisions. Additionally, even if the parents were never married, the courts cannot deny the right to custody or visitation unless it will put the child in physical, emotional, or mental danger.

If a court determines that neither parent will be able to provide a home that is in the child’s best interests, the court can award guardianship to another party, such as the child’s grandparents.

In addition to custody and visitation, courts will make decisions on any necessary child support that should accompany the legal orders.

Child Custody FAQs:

Q: How Much Does a Family Law Attorney Cost in California?

A: In general, a child custody attorney can range in overall costs between $3,000 to $20,000. The facts and circumstances of your case will play a role in the final total. If your case requires more attention because there is extensive criminal history, the other parent or their lawyer is uncooperative, or a number of other reasons, then your attorney will need to spend more time on your case.

Q: How Do I Find the Best Child Custody Lawyer?

A: Word of mouth and online reviews can help to indicate how reputable a child support attorney is. However, when you choose the attorneys at the Dorie A. Rogers, APC, we take the hesitation out of your decision. Our team has the knowledge and experience you need to help resolve your child custody case with the best outcome for you and your child.

Q: How Can I Fight Full Custody in California?

A: Once a decision in court has been made, your attorney can help you file a Request for Order that will begin the process of modifying an already standing court-ordered custody case. If the parents can agree on the changes requested, the process is as easy as asking a judge for approval. If not, then you will need to prove your case to the court.

Q: What Do Judges Look for in Child Custody Cases in California?

A: Judges will consider many factors when deciding which parent will have custody of a child. Many of the mitigating factors include the relationship the child has with both parents, the involvement of the child in their home, school, or community, the overall health of the child and where care will be best provided, and any substance abuse or domestic violence. These are taken into account with other factors as well.

Q: Can a Mom Get Full Custody in California?

A: Yes, a mom can receive full custody of children in California, but so can the father. Basing a legal decision on the gender of either party involved is illegal, as gender is a protected characteristic. Because of this, courts are not allowed to make custody decisions based on either parent’s gender. The decision for the child will be based on what is in their best interest.

Fullerton Child Custody Attorney

Anytime there is a legal process involving a child, it should be handled delicately. While the decisions are coming from the court and their parents, the child is the one who is ultimately impacted. Keeping you and your child’s best interests in mind is the priority of our team at the Dorie A. Rogers, APC. Contact our offices today and find out how we can help you with your child custody case.

Reviews Quotes
“Dorie is a very powerful attorney and a great asset to have on your side in any family legal matter. She is extremely bright and insightful, and I got everything I asked for in my lawsuit.”
Brit B.
“I would strongly recommend Ms. Dorie Rogers for any legal needs. During my Divorce proceedings, Dorie’s professionalism, expertise in Divorce Law and legal skill helped bring my case to a close in both a timely and mutually agreeable manner.

Additionally, Dorie took the time to understand me and my background to better represent me in my case. She showed a level of caring and concern that helped me through a very difficult time. She is an outstanding lawyer and wonderful person.”

Alan M. Greenberg
“Second to none – I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Dorie to anyone. She was my attorney for my divorce and custody case. She will do everything it takes to get the job done and all with a smile on her face. Her knowledge and expertise will assist anyone in a family law situation get the results they want.”
Todd M.


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