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Which type of child custody is best in a given situation?

Perhaps one of the areas of divorce that causes the most concern for all involved revolves around the children. While both parents may want what they consider is best for the child, the California court system will have the ultimate say on child custody issues. With this in mind, it is helpful to have an idea of some of the different types of child custody that may come into play.

Physical custody is what is often thought of when one thinks about child custody. Physical custody is simply which parent will the children live with.  Sole physical custody means that the children will live primarily with one particular parent.

In some cases, joint physical custody is granted. In this situation, the children will live with both parents. In some circumstances, they will live at one home one week and the other home the next week. This arrangement works if the parents live relatively close to each other and it will not be too disruptive for the children to move back and forth.

Another form of custody is legal custody. If a parent has legal custody, this means that he or she has the right to be the one to make decisions for the children. These decisions often include educational, medical and religious decisions. Many times, the court will award joint legal custody under the assumption that it is in the best interest of the children for the parents to both participate in making these types of decisions.

The different forms of child custody address many things regarding children across California. Child custody agreements dictate where the children will live and which parent has the authority to make decisions for them. For these reasons, the child custody agreement is a vital document during and even after the divorce is finalized.

Source: FindLaw, "The Various Types of Child Custody", Accessed on Dec. 2, 2016

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