Divorce can be stressful, emotional and unkind but add children into the mix and the road is that more difficult. Parents have the right to care for, have custody of and nurture their children. The character of this area of law is written in the spirit to not violate the fundamental principles of liberty and justice that lie at the base of all our civil and political institutions.
For anyone considering divorce, it is imperative to understand how California Law applies to child custody. Often divorcing parent’s expectations in regards to child custody do not align with the law.
In family law, there are many factors that go into determining child custody. The foundation of any court’s decision is based on the “Best Interest of the Child.”
The courts will look at the age of children, the financial situation of each parent, housing arrangements, emotional ties between parents and children, the presence of substance or physical abuse in the home, and whether the children will benefit from continued contact with both parents.
The Following Defines the Basic Types of Child Custody that the Courts can Award
- Sole legal custody means that only one parent has the right and responsibility to make decisions for the child as they relate to the child’s health, education, and welfare.
- Sole physical custody means that the child resides with and is under the supervision of one parent and may have visitation with the other parent.
- Joint legal custody means that both parents share the right and responsibility to make the major decisions for their child, such as the ones affecting their child’s health, education, and welfare.
- Joint physical custody means that each parent has significant periods of physical custody and the physical custody is shared so that the child has frequent and continuing
- contact with both parents. It does not necessarily mean the parents must share the child’s time equally.
- Joint custody refers to both parents having joint physical custody and joint legal custody.
Every child custody and divorce case is unique. While the courts lien toward 50/50 custody or some variation of the above types of custody, the best interest of the children remains up to California judges making sound and responsible decisions or parents coming to an amicable arrangement outside the court system.
With years of experience assisting couples through this often complex process, the attorneys at Buncher Family Law can guide and assist you in finding the best solution for your family.