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Joseph R. Zoucha, Attorney & Counselor at Law

The types of child custody and what they mean for you

California parents understand the importance of securing a workable, reasonable child custody agreement. The terms of your order will impact your family for years to come, and it is in the best interests of your kids for you to provide as much stability and continuity of lifestyle as possible. However, there are certain types of custody you would be wise to consider as you pursue a final child custody agreement.

There are two types of child custody: legal custody and physical custody. Regardless of whether you choose to co-parent, share joint custody or pursue sole custody, you will need to address legal and physical custody. Many parents find it beneficial to seek guidance as they work toward a resolution that will work for their family well into the future.

Understanding your parental rights

As a parent, you have the right to maintain a strong and active role in the life of your child after divorce. The ultimate goal of any child custody order is to pursue and protect the best interests of the child above all else. It may be helpful for you to understand the following about the differences between legal custody and physical custody:

  • Legal custody: This refers to the right that a parent has to make important decisions on behalf of his or her child. This may include matters pertaining to religious upbringing, education, medical care and more.
  • Physical custody: This is the time that a parent will have with his or her child. This includes weekend visitation, summer holidays, vacations, Christmas and more. 

In true joint custody arrangements, parents share both physical and legal custody equally. However, in your situation, you and the other parent may share legal custody while one retains physical custody. Every family is different, and it is beneficial for you to consider what will work in your situation as you pursue a final order. 

Your parental rights

One way you can protect your parental rights is to seek guidance as you work on your child custody arrangement. These are important decisions that will affect your family for years, and it is beneficial for you to consider how your choices will impact your children

Whether you want to have a say in the important matters in the life of your child or you want to protect your parental rights, you are entitled to seek a final order that meets your needs and those of your children.

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