Parents in California need to make a decision about how they will handle child custody if they are the parents of one of more children. Oftentimes parental custody is decided based on four different options. One option that parents can consider is joint legal custody. This is when both parents have the right to decide about their children's upbringing. In this arrangement, both parents are able to decide about the healthcare, living conditions, education, and religion that the child will be brought up in. Normally joint custody is only suggested for individuals that are in amicable relationships and will not fight about the many decisions that they will need to make together.
In addition to this option, there is also the option of sole legal custody. This is when one parent has the sole responsibility regarding all decisions on how to raise the child. The parent is required to make all decisions about education, religion, healthcare, living arrangements and travel arrangements and is not required to consult the other parent. This does not mean that the other parent will not be permitted to have a presence in his or her child's life. He or she may still have visitation or may still pay child support despite not having full custody.
The third custody option provided in California is joint physical custody. This dictates where the children will live. In California, joint physical custody is the term for an arrangement where the children live with both parents. Normally, the children will spend more time living with one parent than the other. This is because it is often difficult to split time exactly in half due to obligations at school. The parent who spends the most time with the child is normally called the primary custodial parent.
The last custody arrangement that is often invoked in the state of California is sole physical custody. This occurs when the child or children will live with one parent for the majority of the time but the other parent still has the right to help make decisions regarding the child's future. The parent without physical custody may still be able to make decisions regarding the child's education, healthcare, travel arrangements, religion, and more. In situations like this, the other parent normally has generous visitation rights.
If you are trying to decide on a custody plan post-divorce, you should get a Los Angeles family lawyer involved. Having an attorney on your side to help you navigate through this arrangement can be invaluable. A lawyer can look at your specific situation and determine which custody plan will best satisfy the needs of your family and keep your child's best interests at heart. Contact Claery & Hammond to get an attorney on your side today!