The vast majority of our clients with child custody and visitation issues are loving and caring parents who want to do what is best for their children, but discussion of best interests can be a contentious and sensitive matter.

The Basics of Parenting Time (Child Custody and Visitation) in California

Sometimes divorcing parents are confused about the legal terminology of custody law. As experienced family law attorneys, we can fully explain your rights in helping you and the other parent shape a workable, flexible and creative custody agreement that serves the interests of both the children and the adults. We are experienced in negotiating work schedules, school and activities, family holidays, vacations, weekend custody, and any other obstacles to agreement.

Legal custody (California Family Code § 3003) is generally shared by both parents even if the children live primarily with one parent. It refers to the ability to make decisions concerning the health, education and welfare of a minor child.

Physical custody (California Family Code § 3004) refers to the actual living arrangement of a child. Often, one parent has primary physical custody — the child resides with and is under that parent’s supervision most of the time — while the other parent has visitation rights. If the child resides for significant amounts of time in both parents’ respective homes, both parents are said to have joint physical custody.

Collaborative Law and Mediation Approaches to Child Custody and Visitation

Parents are free to reach their own custody and visitation arrangements through collaborative law or mediation. An amicable agreement is best for all, as it avoids arbitrary decisions by a judge who is unfamiliar with your needs.

The Superior Court of California provides a free mediation service for parents called the conciliation court. We will help you prepare for your conciliation court session.

sometimes, however, one party cannot or will not accommodate the other parent’s wishes in this emotionally charged process. In these cases, you can feel confident that we will provide aggressive protection of your rights and interests.