Child Custody

The Path to a Better Divorce

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Orange County Child Custody Attorney

Helping You Protect Your Child

As a parent, you want the best for your child – which is what can make child custody battles so frustrating. If you’re dealing with a combative co-parent or just want to ensure your child receives the best treatment in their case, you need an attorney you can trust by your side throughout the process.

At Alternative Divorce Solutions, our Orange County child custody lawyers are committed to helping parents find the best path forward in custody cases for themselves and their children.

To schedule a free consultation, contact us online or via phone at 949-368-2121.

Understanding Custody in California

In California, there are two types of custody:

    1. Physical custody, which governs a parent’s rights to house their child; and
    2. Legal custody, which governs a parent’s right to make decisions concerning their child such as where they go to school, what extracurricular activities they engage in, the kind of medical and dental care they receive, etc.
    Parents can share physical and/or legal custody using either a joint or sole custody arrangement.
    • In a joint custody arrangement, both parents have physical and/or legal custody of their child, though not necessarily in equal amounts. Courts tend to prefer joint custody arrangements under the assumption that it’s beneficial for a child to spend time with both parents.
    • In a sole custody arrangement, only one parent has physical and/or legal custody of their child. In situations where one parent is unfit to act as a parent (often due to behavior such as substance abuse or family violence), the other parent may receive sole custody rights.
    If parents agree on how to handle custody, they can present a joint parenting plan and custody agreement to the court, which a judge can then sign to resolve the custody dispute. Otherwise, the parties will need to litigate their divorce in court through a court hearing, and the judge will determine an equitable custody arrangement after hearing from both parents.

    Custody arrangements also include a visitation plan detailing how parents intend to split time with their child. Most parents use one of the following visitation arrangements:

    • Scheduled visitation. In a scheduled visitation arrangement, the parties have a set schedule for when they switch off custody.
    • Reasonable visitation. In a reasonable visitation arrangement, the parties can switch off custody at any time as long as it’s under reasonable conditions.
    • Supervised visitation. If a parent could represent a danger to the child, their visitation time may be supervised by a third party.
    • No visitation. In some circumstances, a parent may be deemed emotionally or physically harmful and have their visitation rights revoked.

    The Custody Mediation Process in California

    Numerous questions must be answered, and a Child Custody Recommending Counselor (a mediator, essentially) will help you work through them all in the most efficient and beneficial way. This mediator will then help you build a plan that is uniquely qualified to serve your particular family needs. The mediation process is designed with three distinct goals in mind:

    • To create a customized parenting plan that is in the best interest of the children involved;
    • To create a parenting plan that allows children to spend time with both parents;
    • To help parents deal with and overcome any feelings of anger or resentment.
    Mediation is the time to resolve the issue seamlessly, and so you may need assistance on what not to say in child custody mediation. In some cases, custody mediation can be interfered with by extenuating circumstances that may not allow both parents to meet and create their plan face to face. When this is the case, alternative dispute resolution options exist. Whatever your situation may be, it is essential to have a strong legal advocate on your side whenever going into any child custody proceedings.

    What Not to Say in Child Custody Mediation

    When engaging in a child custody mediation session, there are several suggestions to consider to avoid saying anything offensive to the other party:

    • The length of the marriage or domestic partnership;
    • The quality of life established for each party during that time;
    • The age and health of both parties;
    • The property each party possesses;
    • The roles each party played during their relationship;
    • Whether any other factors (such as a child custody or support order) are involved in the case;
    • Whether either spouse contributed to the other’s education or career;
    • How spousal support would impact the payor’s finances;
    • How spousal support would impact taxes for each party.

    Experienced Child Custody Mediators in CA

    If you have any questions about child custody mediation in California, we can help. Lani Baron, Attorney-Mediator at Alternative Divorce Solutions, is an Orange County child custody mediation lawyer who can assist you through all aspects of your divorce. Attorney Baron was recently named one of OC Metro Magazine’s Top 100 Attorneys for Orange County and continues to assist clients entering one of the most difficult phases of their lives.

    At Alternative Divorce Solutions, our Orange County child custody attorneys help clients find the best path forward in custody disputes. We’ll work with you to pursue an outcome that enables your child to thrive.

    To schedule a free consultation, contact us online or via phone at 949-368-2121.

    Meet Our Team

    Experienced in Guiding You To a Resolution

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    Headshot of Lani Baron, divorce mediator at Alternative Divorce Solutions

    Lani Baron

    & CEO

    Headshot of Jeanann Khalife, attorney mediator at Alternative Divorce Solutions

    Jeanann Khalife

    & Managing Partner

    Clients Share Their Stories

    Stories Like These Inspire Us Every Day

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    “Thank you for all your knowledge, conscientiousness, and kindness.”

    – Beverly

    “First and foremost, I found that I had a lot to learn about the divorce mediation process. I did not exactly know what the role of the mediator was or if we would still have to go to Court.”

    – Donald B.

    “I was so stressed out before I went to ADS. Once I got there Lani sat with me and my husband and explained the whole mediation process. After I left I knew exactly what to expect and ADS lived up to my expectations.”

    – Giz S.

    Request Your Free Consultation

    The First Step Starts With You

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    Top 10 Reasons
    To Choose Mediation
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    • You get to be in control of your divorce.
    • Tailored solutions based on your needs.
    • Focus on your emotional well-being.
    • Eliminates combative power struggles.
    • Less stressful for every family member.
    • Neutral help from a qualified mediator.
    • Completely private and confidential.
    • Can protect the interests of young children.
    • Saves time by preventing long litigation.
    • Less money spent on attorney and court filing fees.