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California Child Custody: 4 Common Divorce Settlements

Maggio law firm, California family law attorney, California divorce attorney, California child custody, California child custody case, types of custody, physical custody and legal custody, physical custody in California, common divorce settlements

When it comes to child custody cases, California courts focus their efforts and every decision on the best interests of the children. State laws across the entire nation require that courts base their decisions on child custody on what is in the best interests of the child or children involved. The state of California is no exception.

When discussing California child custody is useful to differentiate between the two types of custody: physical custody and legal custody. Both types can be awarded as joint custody or sole custody. Legal custody refers to a parent being authorized to make major life decisions for their child. These decisions may be related to the child’s health, education, etc. Physical custody refers to a parent being authorized to control and supervise the child. When a divorced couple is awarded joint physical custody in California, state law says that they will each receive “significant periods of physical custody.”

4 Common Divorce Settlements Regarding California Child Custody:

1.    Both parents awarded joint legal and joint physical custody.

2.    One parent awarded sole legal custody with both parents awarded joint physical custody.

3.    Parents awarded joint legal custody, and one parent awarded sole legal custody.

4.    One parent awarded both sole legal custody and sole physical custody.

When California parents are awarded joint legal custody, parents are required to share in the decision-making process for their child. The typical divorce settlement will include an award of joint legal custody unless there is a good reason for one parent to have sole legal custody. Most parents do not want to give up the ability to be involved in making decisions on behalf of their child. The judicial system believes that most children benefit from having both of their parents involved in their life. For both of these reasons, sole legal custody settlements are not common.

A typical divorce settlement that included a sole legal custody agreement would usually involve abuse, neglect, child endangerment, etc. These are not the only reasons a California court may award sole legal custody of a child, but they are the most common.

There are no one-size-fits-all divorce settlements in California child custody and parenting time cases. Parents considering divorce should contact the experienced child custody and divorce attorneys at The Maggio Law Firm. We have the knowledge and experience to help you prepare your child custody case.



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