The National Advocates Top 100 Lawyers for Matrimonial and Family Lawyers in California.

California Child Custody

Practice Areas – California Child Custody

Child custody arrangements temporary or permanent physical placement, visitation schedules, cause all family members a significant amount of stress. Our office is experienced in obtaining court-ordered custody and/or visitation agreements for parents (whether in state or out-of-state) that have a child(ren) living in California. There are many factors that need to be considered when divorcing spouses share parental responsibility of a child(ren).

Under California law, child custody has two parts: physical custody and legal custody. Either type of custody may be awarded to one parent (“sole custody”) or to both parents (“joint custody”). “Sole Physical Custody” means that the child will reside with, and under the supervision of, one parent. The Court still may award visitation to the other parent. “Joint Physical Custody” means that each parent will have significant periods of physical custody. The child will have frequent and continuing contact with both parents. It does not require an equal time share with each parent.

“Sole Legal Custody” means that one parent will have the right and responsibility to make decisions regarding the health, education and welfare of the child. “Joint Legal Custody” means that the parents will share that right and responsibility.
You may be faced with a spouse who is attempting to obtain full custody, take your child out of state, illegal relocation and more. California laws are complex and can be difficult to understand your legal rights and responsibilities as it relates to child custody laws. The Courts consider the following for determining primary custodial parents:

• Determining who is the “Primary Caregiver”
• Keeping brothers and sisters together
• Changes in situations that call for Post-divorce modification
• Determining which parent bonded with the child in the early years
• Determining who is the “psychological parent”
• Considering which parent provides love and emotional support
• The child’s preference, if he or she is old enough.
• Financial ability
• Appropriate visitation with the child’s best interest in mind

The primary concern of Courts when custody is at issue is what is in the best interest of the children.