Marriages dissolve for many reasons. However, for parents who divorce, the main concern is the well-being of their children. Child custody laws will play a big role in who ends up with the children and how time is split between parents. Legal terms and the various types of child custody can definitely be confusing. Here’s an overview of the four main types of child custody in California.
Physical custody refers to a parent’s right to have the child to reside with him or her. Joint physical custody is also offered in some states, which means the child is allowed to spend quality time with both parents. However, physical custody is different from legal custody. Legal custody is the right to make legal decisions on behalf of the child, such as decisions about the child’s health, education, and religious upbringing.
Sole custody means only one parent is entitled to legal or physical custody of the child. Sole custody is usually awarded to one parent when the other parent is deemed unfit. In joint custody, both separated parents share the responsibility of making decisions related to the lives of the children. Parents who are divorced, separated or have never lived together can participate in joint custody.
Undoubtedly, child custody can be one of the most challenging aspects of divorce. Avoiding a lengthy, drawn-out child custody battle in court will help to make this transition easier for the children. Those in California who have questions regarding child custody and custody laws could benefit from discussions with a legal representative. A skilled and knowledgeable attorney can help individuals determine the best arrangements for both children and parents.