All You Need To Know About The Various Types Of Child Custody

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

child custody mediation attorneys Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsIn the event of a divorce of a couple with kids, California law provides legal rights towards the custody of the children. However, the approach incorporated in deciding upon the type of custody involves several factors related to the divorced couple. The law offers various types of child custody to the parent or guardians in the event of a legal separation.

Physical custody

The most commonly prevalent type is the physical custody, wherein the parent has the complete right to have the child live with him or her. Some states facilitate joint physical custody to both the parents who are living separately. In such cases, the child is supposed to stay alternatively with both the mother as well as the father for stipulated periods of time. Most of the times, a joint custody is provided only in cases where both parents are staying close to each other. The strain of travelling for the child is a major concern in deciding against a joint physical custody when the parents live too far apart.

Legal custody

The legal custody of a child implies that the parent has the legal right to make decisions with respect to the child’s upbringing, education and health. The parent awarded the legal custody of the child has the right to decide upon the religious choices, schooling and even medical services to be provided to the child. In some of the states, there is a further provision of a joint legal custody as well, wherein both the parents have to make shared decisions about the child’s well being and future.

Sole custody

A sole physical or legal custody is awarded to one of the parent, in the event that the other parent is found unfit for raising a child. There are several reasons such as drug abuse, alcohol issues or financial incapabilities that render a parent legally unfit for getting the custody of his or her child. However, nowadays in addition to sole physical custody, a joint legal custody is awarded to both the parents, wherein both the mother and the father avail the rights to making decisions for the welfare of the child.

Joint custody

As the name suggests, joint custody offers legal, physical or both rights to both the parents with respect to the upbringing of their child. Most of the parents, who are granted joint physical custody, also practice a joint legal custody of their child. However, the opposite is not often true.

The laws related to the allotment of child custody in the event of a divorce, are designed to make the ordeal simpler and lesser painful for the children involved. Therefore, a sound study and understanding of the various types of custodies is imperative in making a correct decision for the future and well-being of your child.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation