joint vs. sole custody

Joint vs. Sole Custody in California

In California, child custody is a significant issue for parents who are separating or getting a divorce. As parents, you want to provide your child with the best possible care and upbringing, but a custody battle can be challenging and emotionally exhausting. There are two types of Custody in California that judges consider when making custody orders.  There is legal custody and physical custody. Legal Custody is the decision-making regarding the health, education and welfare of the child. Physical Custody concerns who the child resides with. This blog post will break down the pros and cons of each type of custody and guide you through filing for custody in California. 

An Overview of Joint and Sole Custody in California


In California, joint custody means that both parents are responsible for raising their child. A court can grant joint custody to both parents if they can develop a parenting plan that is in the best interest of their child. On the other hand, sole legal custody means that only one parent has decision making regarding the child’s health education and welfare.  Sole physical custody means  the other parent has visitation rights, but the child lives primarily with one parent.


Factors Considered When Deciding on Custody Arrangements


The decision to grant joint or sole legal and/or physical custody in California is based on the child’s best interests. The court will consider several factors when deciding on a custody arrangement, including:


  • The child’s age, health, and welfare.
  • The relationship between the child and each parent.
  • The ability of each parent to provide a safe and stable environment for the child.
  • The child’s wishes, if the child is of sufficient age and capacity to make an intelligent decision.
  • Any history of domestic violence or substance abuse by either parent.


Pros and Cons of Joint Custody


One of the advantages of joint custody is that it allows both parents to be involved in their child’s life. The child can maintain a relationship with both parents, and both parents share the responsibility of raising the child.


However, joint custody can be challenging if parents cannot agree on important decisions regarding their child’s welfare. If parents have a history of conflict, joint custody can become a source of stress for all parties involved. Additionally, joint physical custody can be difficult to maintain if parents live far apart or have demanding work schedules.


 How to File for Joint or Sole Custody in California


To file for joint or sole custody in California, you must complete the necessary forms and file them with the court. You must provide the court with a proposed parenting plan that outlines how you and the other parent will share the responsibilities of raising your child. It is wise to hire a California family law attorney to guide you through this process and ensure that your rights and your child’s best interests are protected.


What to Expect During a Court Hearing for Custody


After filing for custody, you must attend a court hearing. During the hearing, the judge will review your parenting plan and listen to arguments from both sides. The judge will then decide on the custody arrangement that is in the child’s best interest.


If you are dealing with a child custody case in California, we can help. Our experienced California family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger will guide you through the process and fight for your rights. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and get the support you need.