Navigating the California court system can be a challenging task even when it comes to the simplest of issues. With more legally complicated and emotionally involved issues such as child custody and visitation, figuring out how the courts work can be overwhelming. An Orange County child custody attorney can offer a road map to resolving child custody disputes or just learning more about one's parental rights and legal options.
As with almost all family law topics, there are many misconceptions that exist regarding child custody. One of the biggest child custody myths is that courts automatically favor the mother when determining legal and physical custody. While this may have been true in the past, today courts consider the best interests of the child when deciding on custody. A court may find that the child's interests are best served by living with the father, with the mother, or with both parents enjoying a relatively equal share of time in both residences.
Many parents struggle to understand just what, exactly, is defined in the term "best interests of the child." The term may have different meanings to different parents; not surprisingly, both parents may differ significantly in their opinions on what this term entails. In order to avoid a lengthy child custody dispute - or to resolve one - it can be helpful to become familiar with how the law defines a child's best interests. Meeting with an experienced family lawyer can offer much-needed clarification.
In California, parents are allowed to decide on a custody agreement on their own. If both parents are in agreement, a judge can approve the plan and the parents do not have to endure a court battle. However, in many cases parents may be at odds with one another. This is certainly not unusual but in many instances it is resolvable. Promoting and protecting your child's best interests may start with selecting the right source of legal information.