Irvine Child Custody Lawyer2021-12-03T14:25:59+00:00

Family law is a specific branch of civil law that pertains to legal disputes among family members. Many different cases unfold in the Irvine, CA, family court system, including divorces, adoptions, and child custody determinations. It’s common for these cases to overlap, so individuals who believe they face one type of family law matter may face several related matters. An Irvine family lawyer can be an incredible asset when faced with complex cases like these, especially child custody determinations.

Representing Parents in Irvine, CA, Child Custody Cases

Whether you are divorcing and you and your spouse must determine custody of your children, oryou are an unmarried parent who needs to develop a custody order, the Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers can assist you. Our team has years of experience guiding clients through the most emotionally stressful family law cases in Irvine, CA, and we can apply this experience to your case.

Do I Really Need an Irvine Child Custody Lawyer?

Attempting to navigate any family law matter in Irvine, CA, without legal representation is incredibly risky. Even if you think you understand all the details of your case and have the flexibility to meet the court’s strict procedural requirements, most people with no formal legal training are unprepared to meet the demands of the California family court system. Any errors, even slight ones, can lead to significant issues with your custody case. Additionally, suppose your child’s other parent has legal counsel of their own. In that case, you could be putting yourself in a very disadvantaged situation, likely resulting in a custody order that does not suit your preferences.

Working with an Irvine child custody lawyer offers the best chance of navigating your child custody case successfully. While every child custody determination will require compromise on the parts of both the parents, it is much easier to approach this situation confidently when you have legal counsel you can trust on your side.

Your Irvine child custody lawyer will help you gather the evidence and documentation you will need to file with the court. They will also ensure all your filings are complete and accurate to ensure the judge has all the information required to make a fully informed and fair decision regarding child custody. The Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers can provide the meticulous representation you need so you can have peace of mind as you begin your custody case proceedings.

What Does the Law Say About Child Custody?

California state law has strict legal obligations that apply to every child custody determination that unfolds in the Irvine family court system. Primarily, the court must ensure that a child custody order suits the best interests of the children it will affect. This may seem subjective, but the judge overseeing a child custody determination must review and verify a wide range of criteria, records, and facts to reach a legally justifiable conclusion to determining custody. Some of the factors a judge must consider in deciding custody of a child include:

  • The apparent fitness of each parent for raising their children. If either parent poses any clear risks to their child’s health and safety, the judge must carefully consider these issues.
  • Each parent’s criminal record. Suppose either or both parents have criminal records. In that case, the judge must determine whether they have completed any court-ordered sentencing and whether they still pose any risk of recidivism or endangering their child.
  • The incomes of each parent. Parents are required to financially support their children in equal measure. Therefore, this factor will also influence child support determination.
  • The work schedule and availability of each parent. Suppose one parent has a very demanding job that requires them to travel extensively. In that case, the judge will likely lean toward granting the more available parent more significant physical custody of their children.
  • Each parent’s willingness to compromise for the benefit of their children. Judges evaluate parents’ demeanors very carefully. For example, suppose a parent seems spiteful or preoccupied with ensuring they receive greater custody rights than their co-parent regardless of what would suit their child’s best interests. In that case, the judge will take note of this, and the parent’s behavior will influence the judge’s decision.
  • The preferences of the child. If a child is old enough to speak on their own behalf, a judge may want to hear what the child has to say regarding their preferences. For example, if the child would prefer to live with either parent and can provide a reasonable explanation behind their decision, the judge will consider their statements.

These are only a few of the variables a judge must evaluate in determining what type of custody arrangement would benefit a couple’s children the most in a child custody determination. Your Irvine family law attorney can help you gather any documentation you may need to make the most compelling case you possibly can for custody rights.

What to Expect in Your Child Custody Order

Generally, the court upholds that children benefit the most with equal access to both parents in as close to equal measure as possible. This means that relatively equal legal and physical custody rights are the judge’s goal in most child custody determinations. Legal custody refers to making decisions on a child’s behalf, and physical custody refers to where the children live and spend their time.

When both parents in a child custody case are fit, capable of providing basic needs for their children, and pose no apparent risks of endangering their children in any way, the judge will likely lean toward a joint custody agreement that provides relatively equivalent custody rights to both parents. As long as the parents live within proximity to one another, their children’s schools, and their children’s medical care providers, a joint custody agreement is likely. However, joint custody may not be exactly 50/50, and the children may not spend an equal amount of time with their parents.

Your custody order is likely to result in one parent assuming slightly greater custody rights than the other. When one parent is unfit, unwilling, or incapable of abiding by a joint custody order, the judge may grant the other parent sole custody and only allow the other parent to have limited visitation rights.

Child custody also influences child support. Since the court expects both parents to financially support their children equally, the parent with greater custody is likely to receive child support from the parent with limited custody or a noncustodial parent. Therefore, the court will carefully evaluate the children’s needs and the estimated cost of meeting their basic living requirements, and the parents’ respective financial situations to determine the total child support obligation. For example, suppose one parent has greater custody than the other. In that case, the court assumes that their greater custody responsibilities inherently cover their financial support obligation, so the other parent will likely be required to pay them child support regularly.

Can I Change an Irvine Child Custody Order?

One of the unique aspects of family law that sets it apart from the rest of the civil law system is the post-judgment modification process. The family court system of California acknowledges that life can change unexpectedly in several ways, and some of these changes will materially influence standing child custody and support orders. For example, losing a job can influence a parent’s ability to meet their child support obligation. In addition, if a parent suffers a catastrophic injury or develops a disability, they may be unable to fulfill their custody obligations. It’s also possible that a parent may wish to relocate, making their current child custody order untenable.

It is possible to change an existing child custody order without an overly complex appeal process. However, the modification system requires the parent who needs to change their custody order to submit a petition to the court outlining their desired change or changes and their argument as to why the requested change is reasonable and necessary. Suppose the court’s initial review of their petition determines it holds merit. In that case, the court will set a hearing for the modification proposal, and both parents will have the opportunity to speak on the issue.

Changing your child custody order is a valuable option that can allow you to preserve your children’s best interests in the face of suddenly altered circumstances beyond your control. Your Irvine child custody lawyer can guide you through this process, helping you draft your initial request for modification and preparing you for the hearing in the Irvine family court.

Find Legal Guidance Now

Child custody determinations are some of the most emotionally stressful family law matters anyone can experience, and having the right legal representation can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of your case. The Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers wants to provide the comprehensive and compassionate legal counsel you need to approach your child custody determination with reasonable expectations and a clear understanding of the laws as they apply to your unique case. So, if you are ready to discuss your impending child custody case with a trustworthy Irvine family law attorney, contact the Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers today, and schedule your consultation with our team.

“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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