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Physical and legal child custody info may help California parents

When it comes to divorce, parents may be most concerned with how custody proceedings will be resolved. Though some California parents facing such a process may be able to agree to terms on their own, there are also instances in which the court may have to step in to make a decision. If parents would like a leg up during their child custody proceedings, they may wish to understand the types of custody.

Legal custody and physical custody differ in various ways. Legal custody pertains to the ability and right each parent has when it comes to making certain decisions for their children. These decisions often relate to lifestyle aspects like religion, health care and education. Both parents may retain the ability to participate in such decisions, or there may be outcomes in which one parent's decisions are given more weight then the other parent's. 

With physical custody, decisions relate to the living arrangements and visitation aspects of child custody. This type of custody is often the first that comes to mind, and the terms of these agreements often have considerable impacts. If a parent is granted primary physical custody, the children will live with that parent most of the time, and the other parent's custody rights will revolve around visitation. Joint custody would result in children spending at least 40 percent of their time with each parent. 

Because the specific circumstances of each custody case play a role in the outcomes, California parents facing these decisions likely hope to make the best choices for everyone involved. If they are uncertain how to go about doing so, they may wish to find out more information on child custody proceedings and the potential impacts of their actions. Additionally, speaking with an experienced attorney could also allow for valuable assistance.

Source:, "Divorce is an unfortunate reality", Clifford Gravett, July 7, 2016

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