Palmer Rodak & Associates
Palmer Rodak & Associates
Certified Family Law Specialists State Bar of California Board of Legal SpecializationServing your Community for 19 Years
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The important differences between physical and legal custody

Child custody is an important issue that could impact your California family for years to come. It is beneficial to consider how the choices you make will impact your loved ones moving forward, and an important part of this is understanding the types of child custody. There are two main types of custody, legal custody and physical custody.

The terms of your custody order will affect both you and your kids, lay the groundwork for the type of relationship you can have with your kids and determine the authority you will have in their lives. As you pursue a beneficial custody order in court or through negotiations and discussions with the other parent, it is important to know your rights and how you can shield your interests.

Different types of custody and what they mean

Whether you and the other spouse will co-parent, split time or you believe you should pursue sole custody, you will find it useful to understand how sole custody or legal custody will affect you. The main differences between these types of custody include:

  • Physical custody: Physical custody is the actual time you will have to spend with your children. This includes weekend visitation, holidays and even summers when the kids are out of school.
  • Legal custody: Legal custody is the right a parent has to make important decisions on behalf of his or her child. This includes religious upbringing, medical care and extracurricular activities.

In a true joint custody agreement, parents will share both legal and physical custody. However, there are families in which parents can share parenting time while one retains legal custody. The optimal custody arrangement will depend on the factors and circumstances unique to your family.

If you think you should pursue sole custody or you have a specific arrangement you believe will be truly best for your family, you have the right to explore this option.

The best future for your family

Divorce is complex, yet it is possible to be thoughtful and intentional with your custody arrangement. As you seek a positive arrangement that will work for you and benefit your children, it may be beneficial for you to seek a complete explanation of your rights and options.

As a caring and loving parent, it is important to understand the types of custody and seek a final outcome that will ultimately protect the best interests of the children above all else.

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Palmer Rodak & Associates
Certified Family Law Specialists State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization

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Del Mar, CA 92014

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