Unfortunately, not all relationships between two people last forever. In the cases where the couple has had children together, often a child custody agreement needs to be enacted. There are two different types of child custody orders in California.
The first type of child custody order that a parent could receive in California is legal custody. Legal custody is where a person has the ability to make decisions for their children, including medical decisions, education decisions and welfare decisions. In California, both parents can be awarded legal custody, or one parent could be awarded sole custody. Legal custody includes many areas of a child’s life including childcare, religious activities, doctor and dentist appointments, mental health appointments, travel, summer activities, and where the child will live. If parents share legal custody, they both have the right to make these decisions. They don’t always have to agree but to avoid having to go back to court they should make an attempt to cooperate in these decisions.
The second type of child custody is physical custody. Physical custody refers to who the children will live with. There can be primary custody where the child mainly lives with one parent but visits the other parent occasionally. Or there is joint custody where the children live with both parents. Visitation orders are created in the best interest of the child. They can be a visitation according to a schedule, a reasonable visitation schedule where the parents work it out between them, supervised visitation where the children are supervised by a third party when they’re with one of the parents, and no visitation in the case where a parent would be physically or emotionally harmful to their children.
Child custody and visitation can be a complicated matter in California. A legal professional who is skilled in child custody can help their client establish an order that is in their best interest and the best interest of the children.