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How is child custody determined in California?

Divorce is difficult enough before the needs of children are addressed. Parents in California going through separation may ease their minds by sorting out their rights and responsibilities as much and as early as possible.

What are the types of child custody that matter in hearings?

The two types of custody are legal and physical. Legal custody refers to the person or people legally empowered to make decisions about a child's upbringing. Physical custody refers to who is responsible for a child's safety and home life, as well as where the child lives. Custody may be joint, shared between parents or guardians, or sole, meaning one person has all custody.

What does the person or people with legal custody choose?

A legal custodian or set of them can choose where a child goes to school, practices religion, receives medical care, travels and lives. If joint custodians do not agree on a large decision, they should attempt to communicate and resolve the problem to avoid a court date.

How do parents share physical custody of a child?

Visitation, or time-sharing, is often how joint physical custody is worked out. Visitation may be scheduled by court edict or mediation, so children and parents know when they will be together, or reasonable, as in unwritten and equitable by spoken arrangement or evolving situation. Some parents may be allowed only supervised visits with children or no visitation at all.

Do I need a lawyer to fight for child custody rights?

People may speak for themselves but it is often recommended that a lawyer is retained to fight for parents' custody rights.

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