California Family Law: Legal vs. Physical Custody

parents fighting over child

Child custody is one of the most nerve-wracking aspects of any divorce case. In California, child custody explains how parents share the responsibility and right of raising their children. In addition to custody, parents can have visitation rights as well, which refers to the way that each parent will spend time with their children.

Legal Custody

In custody matters, there are two kinds of custody: legal and physical. Legal custody refers to the responsibility for children and the ability to make decisions on their behalf. Parents can have joint or sole legal custody of a child. Parents who have legal custody are able to make important decisions, like where the child will go to school, what religion the child will be raised in and what medical providers the child will see.

Physical Custody

Physical custody on the other hand refers to which parent the child lives with. As with legal custody, parents may share joint physical custody of a child, or one parent may have sole custody. When parents have joint physical custody, it's typical for the division of time to be slightly unequal depending on the family’s unique dynamic.

It's hard for a child to split their time exactly between two parents. Exactly equal custody could mean something like moving back and forth during the school week, which can be hard for children, especially since they need stability in their life. During a divorce, children can have a difficult time adjusting to a split home. Custody schedules where the child isn’t being moved around too often are typically better as it provides a sense of security for them.

Skilled Child Custody Legal Assistance in Murrieta

It can be beneficial for divorcing couples to try and work with a mediator to figure out child custody. This can be quicker and less expensive than leaving it to a judge. However, not every divorce is that amicable. Remember to keep the child's needs first and contact Law Offices of Michael D. Iverson, APC. OurĀ experienced lawyer can help ensure you and your family’s rights are protected, and your child custody case is resolved fairly.

Call our Murrieta child custody lawyer today at (951) 418-2770 to set up a consultation regarding your case.

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