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Child Custody Law Attorney Los Angeles

Physical Custody

Physical Custody refers to where the child lives. “Sole physical custody” means that a child shall reside with, and be under the supervision of one parent, subject to the power of the court to order visitation. (Family Code § 3007). “Joint physical custody” means that each of the parents shall have significant periods of physical custody” such that they have nearly equally parenting time. (Family Code § 3004).
In California, judges have a significant amount of discretion to choose a parenting plan that is in the child’s best interest. There is no presumption in favor of sole physical custody or joint physical custody.

Here are few things to keep in mind when deciding on the proper physical custody arrangement:

1) Visitation

The other (non custodial) parent is normally granted visitation rights which is considered a limited form of custody. A typical schedule for the non custodial parent is alternate weekends (Fri-Sun) with one mid week evening visit.

2) Move Away & Relocation

The parent with sole physical custody of the children has the presumptive right to change the children’s residence—i.e., to move away with the children (Family Code §7501)

3) Child Support

Child support is based in part on the approximate percentage of time the high earner has or will have primary physical responsibility for the children compared to the other parent. Therefore, a parent who has a 80% custodial timeshare will generally receive more child support than a parent who has 60%.

Legal Custody

Legal Custody refers to the right to make decisions regarding the child’s residence, health, education and welfare. “Sole legal custody” means that one parent shall have the right and the responsibility to make the decisions relating to the health, education, and welfare of a child. (Family Code § 3006). “Joint legal custody” means that both parents shall share the
right and the responsibility to make the decisions relating to the health, education, and welfare of a child. (Family Code § 3003).

Here are few things to keep in mind when deciding on the proper legal custody arrangement:

1) Hybrid

The court can award both parents joint legal custody with one parent having sole decision making authority for certain decisions such as school choice.

2) Not Dependent on Physical Custody

The court can award both parents joint legal custody and one party sole physical custody.

3) Consent

In making an order of joint legal custody, the court shall specify the circumstances under which the consent of both parents is required to be obtained in order to exercise legal control of the child and the consequences of the failure to obtain mutual consent. (Family Code § 3003).

If you and your former spouse are having trouble working out what is best for your child, then you may want to seek the help of a competent and experienced family law specialist call Charles M. Green today.

Call Today: (213) 387-4508

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About the author

Charles M. Green is Certified as a Family Law Specialist through the Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California. He has worked extensively in both the financial fields and as a litigation attorney specializing in Family Law Cases. He is also diversely experienced in a number of other practice areas of importance to individuals and families. You can find him on Google+

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