Skip to content
We're Available for Remote Meetings to Safely Serve Our Clients


Orange County Family Law Attorney

What is the Difference Between Child Custody and Visitation?

Maggio law firm, California family law attorney, California divorce attorney, child custody and visitation, determining child custody, determining visitation in California divorce, California child custody

Many parents are not sure what the difference is between the phrase child custody and visitation.  Since the two are often seen alongside each other in many court orders involving children of divorce. While the two are often seen together, they are not the same when you consider their legal meanings.

Defining Child Visitation: The phrase child visitation refers to parenting time or the amount of time a parent spends with their child. When one speaks of a child visitation schedule or arrangement, they are discussing what days, times, and how frequently a parent will spend time with their child.

Defining Child Custody: Child custody can refer to two different types of Custody: legal or physical Custody. Legal custody is the right of a parent to make decisions on behalf of their child. Physical custody refers to the rights of a parent to have a child live with them.

There are also two methods of “holding” custody of your child: sole custody and joint custody. Both legal and physical custody can be broken down into sole or joint custody. For instance, a parent may be awarded sole legal custody, and joint physical custody of their child or they may be awarded sole legal and physical custody of the child, etc.

If a parent has sole legal custody, they can make unilateral decisions about the child’s education, health, and welfare. Parents that share joint legal custody must discuss it and make decisions together on behalf of their minor child. Sole legal custody means that the parent has a right to have the child live with them. It can also mean that the custodial parent has the presumptive right to move away with the child. It would be the responsibility of the other parent to prove to the court that relocation would not be in the child’s best interest and request a modification of child custody in response to the move. Any combination of the listed custody arrangements is possible when going through a California divorce with children.

If you have questions about the potential child custody orders you can expect in your upcoming divorce proceedings, please get in touch with one of the experienced California divorce attorneys at The Maggio Law Firm today.  



Divorce attorneys in Orange County; The Maggio Law Firm, Inc.

What Issues To Include In Determining Child Support Orders

It can be quite complex to cope up with the various major decisions to be made in consultation with your former spouse after your divorce. Some of these could be…

Top Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law Firm

Child Custody For Parents With History Of Substance Abuse

One of the important grounds on which parents can lose custody battles is having a history of substance abuse. Parents who struggle with substance abuse often have a strained relationship…

Top Orange County Family Law Attorney
Top Orange County Divorce Lawyer
Best Orange County Family Law Attorney
Top Orange County Divorce Lawyer
Schedule a consultation