Certified Family Law Specialist & Mediator
Newport Beach | Woodland Hills 949-799-3357 | 818-210-4862
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Child Custody Compassionate Guidance. Powerful Legal Advocacy.

Newport Beach Child Custody Lawyers

Protecting Your Parental Rights & Your Child’s Welfare

Child custody and visitation are issues that often arises in a divorce or separation, and also in situations involving paternity and sometimes grandparents’ rights. Custody refers to the responsibilities and rights of parents to care for their children, affecting where the children live, and who makes decisions about education, healthcare, and other key aspects of their lives. Visitation (time-sharing) is a related issue that applies to a non-custodial parent’s right to spend time with his or her child.

If you are going through a divorce or are dealing with any type of custody or visitation dispute, you need a strong ally to protect your rights. A Newport Beach child custody attorney at Thomas Law Offices can provide the level of representation, guidance, and counsel that will make a true difference in your case. We know that no two families are the same, and we provide legal services tailored to address our clients’ needs.

To learn more about your custody and visitation rights, and how we can protect these, call (949) 799-3357. We have offices in Newport Beach and Woodland Hills to better serve you.

How Is Custody Determined?

In California, a parent may have sole custody of a child, or custody may be shared. In instances of sole custody, visitation will apply. In instances of shared custody, parents may have shared legal and/or physical custody as outlined in a parenting plan. In a divorce or separation, parents may reach their own custody agreement, subject to approval by the court. A judge will make a final decision on any proposed parenting plan or, if parents cannot reach their own agreement, will make a decision at a court hearing.

Custody determinations are based on the best interests of the child and will depend on:

  • The age and health of the child;
  • Any current custody/visitation arrangement;
  • The child’s emotional ties to each parent;
  • Each parent’s ability to care for the child; and
  • Any history or instances of substance abuse or domestic violence.

Make sure your interests are fully protected in your custody case. Whether we are negotiating for you, helping you through mediation, or protecting your rights in court, you can count on our Newport Beach child custody lawyers to do everything in our power to secure a positive result.

What Is a Material Change in Circumstances?child walking with father on the lawn

When a parent is no longer fit to care for their child, this could mean there is a material change in circumstances. An example of a material change in circumstances would be if the parent developed alcoholism or an addiction to drugs or has moved another person into the home that has a poor or negative influence on the child. or more simply, the parent wishes to relocate with the child out of state.

What Is the Difference Between Legal and Physical Custody?

According to California law, there are two main distinctions in custody: legal versus physical. Each one may be applied differently to a custody case, depending on the circumstances. For example, the mother may have sole physical custody, but both parents have legal custody.

Here is the difference between these two types of custody:

  • Legal custody: The parent is able to make legal decisions on behalf of the children.
  • Physical custody: The children live with the parent.
  • Sole custody: One parent has both legal and physical custody of the children. In this scenario, the other parent may have parenting time or visitation, but does not have any rights to make custodial decisions.
  • Joint legal custody: Both parents can make legal decisions on behalf of the children. The courts can also intervene in case parents are unable to come to an agreement.
  • Joint physical custody: The children divide their time living with both parents. One common scenario might be spending one week with one parent, and then the next week with the other parent, and so on and so forth.

Do you have a custody matter that needs to be settled? Please do not hesitate to contact us at Thomas Law Offices. We always work towards our clients’ best interests, and the same goes for your children too.

Contact Thomas Law Offices today at (949) 799-3357 and put a Certified Family Law Specialist on your side.