Who Gets the Kids in a Divorce?
In order to understand which parent your child may spend most of their time with after a custody order, you should make yourself familiar with how child custody works in California. Child custody cases are emotional and the type of custody you have can impact your current family dynamics.
In California, there are two types of custody orders, physical and legal. Either parent can have custody of your child, or you and your ex can share custody. Keep reading as we explain the differences and how they can determine which parent your child will spend their time with.
What is Physical Custody?
Physical custody determines where your child will live during your separation or after your divorce. When you have physical custody, you have the right to have your child live with you in your home.
There are two different categories of physical custody that can help you understand where your child will live during the separation period or after your divorce called joint physical custody and sole physical custody.
Joint Physical Custody
Joint physical custody means your children would live with and spend substantial time with each parent.
A judge may award joint physical custody. In some cases, even when you are sharing physical custody, your child may end up spending more time living with you than their other parent.
Sole Physical Custody
Sole physical custody means your child lives with and is under the supervision of one parent, subject to the court’s power to order visitation.
What is Legal Custody?
Legal custody gives you the right to make important decisions about your child’s well-being, education, and health. You can make decisions about their day-to-day routines such as:
Where your child attends school.
If your child will be introduced to and engage in religious activities.
Their after-school schedule including if they participate in sports.
When they should go to a doctor outside of emergencies.
Choices for your child’s mental health and well-being.
Travel decisions for your child.
Where your child will live.
Decide what doctor, dentist, or other medical professional they will see.
There are two types of legal custody called joint, and sole legal custody.
Joint Legal Custody
Joint legal custody gives both parents the responsibility and the right to work together and make important decisions about their child. This can include making decisions about their health, education, activities, and welfare.
If you and your ex can’t work together and agree on parenting decisions for your kids, you can contact a child custody attorney to help you ask the court to step in and get involved with your custody case.
Sole Legal Custody
Sole legal custody allows for one parent to have the right to make choices relating to important decision-making for your child. This could include your child’s health, education, well-being, and more.
With sole legal custody, your ex’s input will not always be necessary. You can make these decisions alone if needed. However, just because you have sole legal custody does not mean you have sole physical custody of your child.
Ventura Child Custody Attorneys
Our attorneys at SANTO MEHAS A Professional Law Corporation have been working with families in the Ventura, CA area to help them reach a peaceful resolution in their custody cases. We are dedicated to guiding families through the legal process and offering excellent legal advice until their case is resolved.
If you are ready to begin your custody case, contact us at (805) 222-7818 to schedule a consultation!