Child Custody Caring & Effective Legal Advocacy

Los Angeles Child Custody Lawyers

What Are the Differences Between Joint & Sole Custody?

When two parents cannot come to an agreement about child custody on their own, it will be up to the courts to decide the terms of the custody arrangement. A number of things will be considered by the court when determining child custody, and the judge will always seek to rule in the best interests of the child.

The court’s main concern is to assure the safety and welfare of the child and to maintain frequent and continuing contact with both parents through visitation. Parents are encouraged to share in the responsibilities of their children following a divorce or separation, unless extenuating circumstances prevent one parent from doing so.

Sole custody orders:

  • Exclusive Custody
  • Sole Physical Custody
  • Sole Legal Custody

Joint custody orders:

  • Pure Joint Custody
  • Joint Legal Custody
  • Joint Physical Custody
  • Divided or “Split” Custody

Understanding Physical & Legal Custody in California

While one parent may believe that they should have primary custody over the child, the question may be: is that what the child wants? There are so many options to consider, and these decisions are crucial for the wellbeing of the child.

Defining child custody is necessary due to each divorce case being unique. There are two types of custody:

  • Primary physical custody involves which parent the child will be with most of the time.
  • Legal custody then is where either one parent has the primary say in major educational, religious and medical decision’s regarding the child or the decision-making power is shared.
  • In both physical and legal custody, the parents may resort to some form of joint custody, in which they share in both the physical time with a child and also in the major decisions regarding the child.

What Is Sole Custody?

Sole custody means that absolute and total custody is given to one parent and they are then responsible for the child physically and/or regarding decisions. It is important to understand that even when parents share custody of the child; it is difficult to have completely equal division. Usually one parent will be responsible for their primary care and they will visit the other parent as frequently as agreed upon.

When weighing the possible options, take into account the phase of life the children are currently in. Consider their age, their personality, what they like to do and even their friends. It may be important also to consider the child’s personal input. Although, some children may feel uncomfortable in sharing their opinion on the matter, so it is not necessary that they give a preference.

Even so, it is good for them to know that they can have a say in the matter. During this time, it is important to remind the children of how much they are loved, and to let them know how important they are even in the process of divorce. If the parents cannot agree, then a judge will decide.

Get in Touch with Claery & Hammond, LLP Today

We understand that this is a sensitive situation that could greatly affect your family and your relationship with your children, and our team can provide you with the caring and outstanding legal counsel you need and deserve. When children are involved in a divorce or separation, custody disputes frequently arise.

If you are having problems determining a child custody arrangement with the other parent, you will need to hire a Los Angeles child custody lawyer to handle the situation. Often when two parents split up, child custody must be decided and the arrangement will have to be adhered to by both parties, otherwise legal action may become necessary.

If you are a parent who is going through a divorce and needs help getting custody of your children, or are trying to take action against the other parent because they are disregarding previous custody arrangements, a child custody attorney in Los Angeles at Claery & Hammond, LLP can help you. Founding partner Lance Claery and attorney Eli Hammond are experienced in child custody laws and family law, and frequently handle situations involving custody disputes.

If you would like to discuss your rights under California's child custody laws, we encourage you to contact our Los Angeles child custody attorneys as soon as possible. You can reach us by phone at (310) 817-6904.

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