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Child Custody and Visitation

Child Custody and Visitation in California

If you anticipate you and your spouse will not be able to agree on the custody of your children, you will need to know about the custody laws in the state of California. First of all, there are two types of custody in California : legal and physical. Sometimes, there is a custody battle between parents about legal custody.

Legal custody is the right to make decisions and the right to obtain information. It allows each parent to be involved in the decision-making process for the children by requiring the parents to meet and confer before making any major decisions about their children. It also gives each parent the right to obtain information about their children, from the children's schools, their doctors, etc. Courts will almost always award joint legal custody to the parents.

If parents fight about custody of their children, it is usually over physical custody . Physical custody determines who the children will live with. In a joint physical custody arrangement, the children's time is split nearly equally between each parent's home. A joint physical custody schedule does not have to be structured in any specific way. Joint custody could be a week-on, week-off schedule; or even an every-other-day schedule. However fashioned, joint physical custody will require the parties to cooperate with each other, share the children, and will make it more difficult for the parties to move away from the area. If you live in or around Temecula and if one parent wants to move away, this will often turn into a new custody battle requiring more court hearings. Custody battles- especially those involving "move away" cases, are best handled with the help of an experienced family law attorney.

Primary physical custody (sole custody ) is where the child lives with one parent the bulk of the time and visits with the other parent only on specific days. The parent who does not live with the child will be given a visitation schedule. This is where the most common situation is when the child sees the visiting parent on alternating weekends and for an evening or two during the week. Although courts are legally not allowed to favor one parent over the other, practically speaking, most custodial parents are still women in California.

If you have any questions or would like any info concerning custody or visitation in the state of California and you live in the Temecula, Murrieta or Hemet areas of Riverside County, please call us for a free consultation.

Family Attorneys serving the Temecula, Murrieta, and Hemet areas of Riverside County, California, including Menifee, Wildomar, Winchester, Canyon Lake, and Lake Elsinore. Our practice is limited to family law, including issues involving divorce, paternity, legal separation, annulment, child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support, attorney fees, post-judgment modifications, division of property, and domestic violence.