What’s the Difference Between Legal Custody and Physical Custody?

What’s the Difference Between Legal Custody and Physical Custody?The topic of legal custody and physical custody can be a bit confusing for many people in California. Legal custody refers to the rights and responsibilities that parents have regarding major decisions about their children’s lives, such as healthcare and education. Physical custody refers to where a child actually lives or with which parent they spend most of their time.

This topic is important, as it can significantly impact the lives of children and parents alike. Whether you are facing a custody dispute or are simply trying to understand your rights and responsibilities as a parent, it is essential to seek legal guidance from an experienced attorney who can provide you with expert advice tailored to your unique situation.

Legal Custody

Legal Custody

Legal custody refers to parents’ rights and responsibilities over their children in terms of major decisions like medical care, education, and religious upbringing. It is typically granted to one or both parents in a legal custody agreement, though this may vary depending on the specific situation.

There are two main types of legal custody: joint legal custody, where both parents share decision-making rights, and sole legal custody, where only one parent has these rights. In most cases, a judge will determine whether joint or sole legal custody is appropriate for a particular situation based on factors like each parent’s ability to make sound decisions for their child and any existing domestic violence or abuse concerns.

In general, the primary difference between legal custody and physical custody is that the former pertains to major decisions about a child’s life, while the latter describes which parent a child lives with most of the time. However, there may also be other differences between these types of custody depending on the specific circumstances of each case.

Physical Custody

Physical custody refers to the physical care and control of a child, typically awarded to one parent in the event of a divorce or separation. While both parents may be involved in making decisions for their child, only one parent will be deemed to be the primary physical parent. This helps provide the child with stability, knowing they have a permanent home. It’s also for efficiency, so schools and doctors have a single address for the child.

There are two types of physical custody: sole physical custody and joint physical custody. Sole physical custody is when one parent has sole responsibility for the day-to-day care of a child, while joint physical custody involves both parents sharing these responsibilities.

There are a number of factors that may impact which type of physical custody is awarded in a particular case, including the child’s age and preferences, as well as each parent’s ability to provide adequate care for the child. Additionally, courts will typically consider whether there is any history of domestic violence or abuse when deciding on physical custody arrangements.

While courts often grant joint legal custody, it’s harder to grant truly 50/50 physical custody. California courts will generally provide both parents with physical custody, but one will be the primary physical custody parent. If your child’s other parent is the primary physical custody parent, but your situation has changed, you may be able to modify the custody agreement. You will need to provide evidence of a change in circumstances and show how a change in custody will be in the best interests of your child.

Speak With a Beverly Hills Family Law Attorney Today

Your child’s well-being matters most. You play a crucial role in their life through both legal and physical custody. Knowing your responsibilities and your rights under both types of custody ensures the best scenario for your child. Explore and protect your rights by speaking with a Beverly Hills family lawyer who can help guide you through the process and represent your interests in court. Contact Berenji & Associates today to get the experience you can trust.