Child custody and parental visitation are sensitive, critical aspects of family law litigation, and decisions made in that process will have a significant impact on your children and your parenting role. While you can regain lost assets, you can never get back time lost with your children.
Determining Child Custody and Visitation
There are two types of child custody in California: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to which parent will make important decisions about the children’s wellbeing, such as choosing their residence, healthcare provider, school, childcare provider, and religion. Physical custody refers to which parent the children lives with.
Both legal and physical custody can be joint or sole. Joint legal custody allows parents to share the rights and responsibilities of making important decisions about their children. Joint physical custody means that children live with both parents. If a parent has the children more than half the time, he or she may be considered the primary custodial parent. Sole custody usually means that the children live with one parent most of the time, but visit the other parent. In some cases, the court will award joint legal custody but not joint physical custody.
California courts focus on the best interests of the children when determining child custody and visitation. The best interests of the children may require a complex analysis of issues that are very emotional for all family members.
The Importance of Knowledgeable Counsel and Effective Representation
Children benefit when their parents are able to work out a mutually agreeable child custody and visitation agreement. However, we recognize that parents may not be able to reach an agreement on their own. The experienced family law attorneys at The Sperling Law Firm are skilled in issues such as child custody, and can represent you in a way that protects your children’s best interests.