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Explaining Child Custody in California

In the practice of family law, child custody and parental visitation arrangements are some of the most complex and challenging aspects of the divorce litigation process. Attorneys and parents alike want to achieve the best possible outcomes in these arrangements, as the decisions can affect children for many years.

What Types of Child Custody are in California?

There are two types of child custody in the state of California. The first is called “legal custody”, and the other is “physical custody”. In the first type, the decision rests on which parent will make important legal decisions on behalf of the child or children, such as decisions on health care, schooling, residence, and other aspects. Physical custody, on the other hand, refers to which of the parents the child or children will live with after the divorce.

In each type, the custody can be joint or sole. In a joint legal custody arrangement, both parents share the duties and responsibilities for making decisions about their children’s well-being. Joint physical custody means that the children can live with both parents; for example, the children may spend several months of the year with each parent. Sole custody means that one parent or another makes the decisions, and the children will live with only one of the parents. The children may be able to visit the other parent, particularly if a visitation arrangement is made by the court.

The Court’s Role

In divorce proceedings, the court plays a very important role. In California, the courts place the child or children’s well-being at the top of priorities. Divorces can be filled with emotion, and the courts work to protect the best interests of any children involved in the process. California courts may need to undertake a complex analysis of the factors and issues in the divorce before making custody judgments.

Seek Professional Legal Help

As with any aspect of family law, the right legal assistance is critical. Sperling Law Firm has been practicing family law for many years, and our attorneys have the experience needed to guide clients through the custodial process. We want to protect the rights and well-being of children that may be part of a divorcing couple’s litigation. It is of vital importance that families obtain the very best and most skilled family law attorneys possible in these challenging times.