Physical Custody

Obtaining Physical Custody

What Is Physical Child Custody?

When considering child custody, most people are thinking of physical custody. This is different from legal custody which deals with the actual decisions that a parent will face when raising a child - such as religion and schooling. Physical custody is a little more basic - it deals with the actual geographical location of a child. A parent who has physical custody will typically be considered the custodial parent and will have a child that lives with them.

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In many situations, a court will award what is known as joint custody. In such situations, both parents will set up a schedule where the child will split the time spent at both parent's homes. This is usually easiest done when the parents live in close proximity with each other as the child can then attend the same school and maintain the same support group. If sole custody is awarded, however, the court will often work with the non-custodial parent to establish a visitation schedule so that the child can spend time with both parents.

Physical Custody vs. Visitation

It is important not to confuse custody with visitation. Simply because you and your spouse have agreed on the times when you can see your children, does not mean that you have custody. The main difference between custody and visitation is responsibility. Those who have custody of their children retain the rights to make decisions about the child's future and wellbeing. Those who simply have visitation rights can see their children, but have no say in their lives. A Riverside child custody lawyer can from our firm help you work toward a favorable custody arrangement.

What Are the Differences Between Joint Custody and Sole Physical Custody?

In California, and in most U.S. states, parents can either have joint physical custody or sole physical custody. Joint physical custody is a court order that allots specific dates when children will live with either parent, and it gives each parent the responsibility to make decisions regarding the child's future.

In the state of California, one major difference with joint physical custody is that each parent does not necessarily have to have equal parenting time. While both parents have the right to have their children under their roofs, the court does not have to split this time equally, although sometimes that is what can happen. There are two major phrases to take into consideration when attempting to gain custody of your children. The first is "significant periods" and the other is "frequent and continuous contact." Custody agreements use these phrases to describe how often each parent will be allowed to have custody of their child. As you can see, there are no concrete numbers attached to these phrases, which is why parents typically end up in court to decide what is a significant period and how often is "frequent."

Retain a Riverside Child Custody Lawyer!

If you are currently fighting for custody in a divorce, do not hesitate to turn to the legal team at Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich. With years of experience and an unwavering dedication to the success of clients, you can breathe easier knowing that you will have a heavyweight who will go the distance in their efforts to protect not only you, but your child as well. Contact our firm today and learn more - not only about the situation that you are involved in, but the different ways in which we will be able to help.

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