Child custody is one of the most stressful and emotionally driven parts of most divorces – especially those involving small children. In most divorces, parents decide custody arrangements without the need the need for court input. However, in situations where the parents cannot come to an agreement, the court will need to intervene. When this happens, a “custody battle” ensues and the court will need to make the ultimately decision as to how custody is split between the parents upon the finalizations of the divorce.
Below are 4 types of child custody in California:
- Legal Custody
Having legal custody allows you to make all decisions regarding the needs of your child, such as education, health care and religion. You do not need to consult for ex-spouse when making a decision.
- Physical Custody
Physical custody means that your child lives with one parent, while the other parent (referred to as the non-custodial parent) only has “visitation” rights. If your child spends an equal amount of time with both you and your ex-spouse, then the court might award joint physical custody. In this situation, both parents would have equal parenting time.
Joint custody has become increasingly more common in recent years. Family courts are now realizing the importance of children having equal time with both parents.
- Sole Custody
Sole custody is an arrangement in which the court has decided that one parent should have full and legal custody of the child. The parent with sole custody is identified as the custodial parent, while the other parent is identified as the non-custodial parent. The court, depending on what it believes to be in the best interests of the child, may or may not award the non-custodial visitation rights.
- Joint Custody
When the court awards joint custody, both parents share the right and responsibility to make decisions relating to the health, education, and welfare of a child. However, it should be noted that just because parents share joint legal custody, it does not necessarily mean that you will share joint physical custody.
Custody issues can no doubt be very confusing. If you are going through a divorce or planning on filing for divorce, it is best to seek legal representation from an experienced Central Valley child custody attorney to help you through this process.
Call an Experienced Central Valley Child Custody Attorney
If you are involved in a child custody battle or simply have questions regarding child custody, it is important that you have a knowledgeable attorney fighting for your rights. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with a Central Valley child custody attorney, please call Gurjit Srai (209) 323-5558 or complete our online form.