If you are going through a divorce, issues of child custody are sure to come up. Child custody issues tend to be complex as well, not just emotionally but also legally. During the proceedings, you may encounter some words that you might not understand or are unfamiliar with. To make sure you are well prepared for your Orange County child custody case, here is a list of few important words used in child custody proceedings.
· Joint Physical Custody
This word is used to refer to the custody where both the parents will have considerable amount of physical custody. This custody by no means requires that the share of custody between the two must be equal. An example can be one of the spouses getting the child for the weekends and the other keeping him for the rest of the five days in the week.
· Joint Legal Custody
Joint legal custody is little different a concept than joint physical custody. Joint legal custody allows both the parents the authority to make the decisions related to the child such as education, health, etc. In some Orange County divorces though, the judge can grant the parents joint legal custody but not joint physical custody.
· Sole Physical Custody
Only one of the two parents of the child is allowed to spend the largest amount of time with the child and to be able to completely be in charge of all the child’s day to day affairs.
· Sole Legal Custody
Only one of the two parents of the child is allowed to make the decision with respect to the important issues in the child’s life, such as education, welfare, health, religion, etc.
· Primary Custody
More often than not, Orange County divorce family lawyers use the term “primary custody” in describing physical custody instead of only using the words joint custody and sole custody, to distinguish the parent who has control of the day to day affairs of the child. Despite the widespread use of the word, under California law, there is no such recognized term.
If one of the parent has the custody of the child instead of both, the other parent will be allowed to meet the child at agreed times. This is referred to as visitation. However, a preferred alternative is describing the other party’s time as their custodial timeshare without labeling it “visitation” per se.
Gerald A. Maggio is an experienced Orange County divorce and family law attorney and family law attorney located in Irvine, California, serving the Orange County and Riverside areas. Mr. Maggio assists clients with legal issues including divorce, legal separation, divorce mediation, child custody, prenuptial agreements, stepparent adoptions, and other family law issues. Mr. Maggio has practiced law in California since 1999, and founded The Maggio Law Firm in 2005, focusing exclusively on divorce and family law matters.