A divorce or a legal separation may not be the happiest event in a couple’s life. However, parents have to pull themselves together and make a few important decisions when getting a divorce. For example, if parents want to separate or divorce in the state of California, they should decide how the child/children should be taken care of based on the options California law provides them with.
Often, the two parents make an agreement, but if they cannot do it themselves, a judge will decide in court based on the child’s best interest. In California, there are four types of child custody that a judge might choose for a specific case. The different types of custody determine who lives with the child or makes major decisions regarding the child. Note that there is a huge difference between child custody and child visitation. The latter only determines who should spend how much time with the child/children. So, let us now examine one by one the four types of child custody in California.
Sole legal custody
This is the type of custody in which the court grants one parent full authority to make decisions for the child. These are the decisions that impact a child’s education, religion, health, living and travel arrangements, everyday life.
A court will typically choose this type of custody if there is a big chance of serious arguments between the two parents. In addition, if one parent is totally absent, the remaining parent will get the chance to make major decisions for the child.
Joint legal custody
Unlike the previous type, joint legal custody provides both parents with the right to make major decisions for the child or children. This means that the parents should stay in touch and be able to communicate with each other well.
Though sometimes joint legal custody can be stressful to manage, it can provide a lot of benefits for the child. If the two parents can keep adequate communication with each other, this type of custody will help children feel happier.
Sole physical custody
In this type of custody, the child/children live with only one parent. One major advantage of this is that the children get the chance to have a consistent and peaceful lifestyle. In addition, sole physical custody does not mean that the other parent cannot see the child/children. Actually, regular visits are scheduled to maintain a healthy relationship between the parent and the child.
Joint physical custody
This type of child custody is when the child stays with both parents on a regular basis. Usually, one of the parents becomes the primary custodial parent with whom the child spends more time. Well, this is because if parents don’t live near each other, it will be difficult to make all the arrangements. Considering the fact that the child should go to school they might live with one parent most of the time. While the weekends or the holidays might be spent with another parent. This all should be agreed upon with the parents or the court decides it if the parents cannot come to a consensus.
Knowing about these four types of child custody in California might help you understand what to expect. If you have got any other questions regarding a divorce or child custody, feel free to contact the Margarian Law Firm for legal help. Call us to schedule a free first consultation today.