There is no one-size-fits-all solution to visitation and parenting time after a divorce. A California family may decide that joint custody is the right choice, or there are times when one parent feels it is truly best to pursue sole custody. These are not the only types of custody to consider. There are two types, legal custody and physical custody, that can affect a family’s plans and the role the parents have.
It is important for a parent to understand the differences between legal and physical custody. Physical custody is the amount of time a parent will spend with his or her child. It includes overnight stays, vacations, weekends and holidays. Parents often focus on how much time they will have with their kids, and while that is essential, it is prudent not to overlook legal custody.
Legal custody includes the rights that parents have to make important choices for their children. This may include decisions pertaining to religious training, education, health care and more. It is possible for a parent to share physical custody with the other parent while having no legal custody rights. In a true joint custody agreement, parents share legal and physical custody.
When discussing child custody and deciding what is best for the kids, it may be helpful to seek the advice of an experienced California family law attorney. This guidance is important when making choices that will impact the kids long-term. Before agreeing to terms or making any final decisions, it will help to seek an assessment of the case to understand what may be best for the individual situation.