If you are a divorcing parent, the wellbeing of your children is the first priority. It is imperative that you and your child’s other parent develop a child-custody plan that puts the best interests of your children first. An experienced family law attorney can help you understand the complexities of child custody laws in California.

Legal custody. A parent has the legal right to make decisions for the child about health and education and all other topics. If a parent has sole legal custody, the s/he free to decide without consulting with the other parent. If the Court awards the parents joint legal custody, the parents have equal right to make decisions about the child.

Physical custody. This is granted to the parent with whom the child primarily resides. The parent has the obligation and authority to provide daily care to the child. If the parents are awarded joint physical custody, then the child is regarded as living fairly equally with each parent.

In California, after a petition to terminate the marriage is filed and served, interim or temporary child-custody orders may be issued until the judgment for dissolution of marriage or annulment is entered. If the parents are not married, one parent must file the petition for parentage and the parents must prove legal parentage of the children. Interim orders for custody may be issued until the judgment for parentage is entered.

Divorce can be a very trying experience for children. Our California child custody attorneys are dedicated to helping your family through this difficult time.