The end of a California couple’s marriage often means the end of many things. It can mean the end of battles over finances, friends, family and more. However, it does not mean the end of one being a parent when children are involved. Exactly what this new parental relationship will look like, though, does begin to take shape in the form of a child custody agreement.
It is possible that one parent will retain sole physical custody or the parents can share joint physical custody. Physical custody simply refers to which parent the child will primarily live with. Under sole physical custody, one parent will be primarily responsible for the day-to-day care of the child. However, this does not mean that the other parent is left out. This parent typically retains visitation rights; one of the most common forms traditionally is visitation every other weekend and two or three weeks during the summer, though the trend is toward more equal sharing of parenting time.
Regardless of the physical custody arrangement, legal custody should also be determined. Again, one parent may retain sole legal custody. However, joint legal custody is the most common form. With joint legal custody, both parents have input regarding their child’s education, religious upbringing, medical care and more. This does require the parents to work together in order to make decisions that are in the best interest of the child.
Child custody arrangements are often an area of concern when it comes to divorce. Both individuals want what is best for the child; however, each individual sees what is best through his or her own eyes. Experienced legal counsel can assist the individual in determining which form of custody is in the best interest of the child, drafting a child custody agreement and presenting it before the California court.