A child is the most important aspect in a divorce. Most parents want to make sure that they keep hold of their children. This leads to increased conflict during divorce proceedings with each of the party hell-bent on trying to get custody of the child. However the final decision on matters of custody is taken by the judge. They will have the power to decide which sort of custody would be best for the interest of the child.
Typically, there are three different types of custody orders that a court makes. This blog will take a look at the three different types of custody that the family law judge can award.
This is the by far the easiest custody arrangement to understand. As the word itself suggests this is a custody that is restricted to the one parent only. Hence the courts will choose either of the two parents as being the person who can take care of the child best and give sole custody of the child to them. A sole custody generally means that the spouse who has been awarded the custody will have the authority to take all important decisions in the child’s life on their own.
Not only that, the child will exclusively live with that parent, although the other parent may be given some visitation rights. This kind of custody is often given in situations where the other parent is involved in any kind of drug, alcohol, sexual or physical abuse with or without the child.
Joint custody is the most common custody order in divorce cases. This as the name suggests requires both the spouses have custody of the child jointly. This though in no way means that the two spouses will need to live together. Instead, this means that the physical custody of the child will be shared amongst both parents.
In addition to physical custody, important decisions that are taken about the child such as the school that they will study in, the religion that they will practice, the hospital they will go to, etc. are taken by both parents in consultation. This is known as joint legal custody, and it is common because the courts believe the presence of both the children at some point during the week is in the best interest of the child. However for such a custody arrangement to work, both parents need to have frank communications.
Third party custody
There are some situations where neither of the parents is deemed by the family law court to be fit to take care of the child. Remember being a parent doesn’t guarantee custody of the child. In the Orange County the most important thing is best interest of the child. In such situations the court can grant the custody of the child to third parties such as grandparents of the child, etc., although generally only temporarily.
Gerald A. Maggio is an experienced Orange County divorce and family law lawyer 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.