When you get divorced, you may have to deal with child custody issues. You want to have a stable living arrangement for your children and be able to co-parent effectively. While this is ideal, sometimes there is conflict, and children are often caught in the middle. Parenting after divorce is challenging so you need to understand what your legal rights and obligations are.

During a child custody case, you want to be represented by a lawyer who knows child custody laws and is experienced with family court. Understanding the types of custody will help you provide the best arrangement for your children.

Legal Custody 

Legal custody gives a parent the legal right to make decisions for their minor child. They are responsible for the well-being of their child and make decisions about schooling, medical care, and religion. Both parents will typically get legal custody regardless of where the child lives. This means both parents need to work together to make choices that will benefit their child.

Physical Custody 

Physical custody is where your child resides. In a divorce, your child will split their time between two households. California is a 50/50 custody state, so joint custody is typical in most divorces. Depending on the circumstances, visitation may be limited with one parent and this can cause friction as it takes time away from being with your child.  This is one of the most contested parts of a divorce and custody cases. Child support may be awarded to the spouse that has physical custody, and if there is income inequity among parents, support may also be given.

Child custody, with its many legal terms, can be confusing with how it’s determined and defined. You want to make sure you understand everything about your case in order to be successful in your outcome. Having a qualified child custody lawyer to guide and represent you is vital. At Westover Law, we have experienced family law attorneys in California serving families with honesty, integrity, and loyalty. Contact us today for all your divorce and child custody issues.