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The Difference between Legal and Physical custody in family law cases.

Michael P Newman, Esq. is a Corona, California attorney with the Law Office of Michael P Newman.

I think that one of the most asked question or the topic that clients just didn’t know that there was a difference is legal and physical custody in California family law cases.

First there is a difference, and you have to specify in your petition or your response. Let’s start with legal custody.

Legal custody is the right for parents to share in the right and responsibility to make decisions regarding the health, education, and welfare of the child. To break this down a little farther parent’s with joint legal custody make decisions about the school or child care. Any medical decisions that need to be made, for instance, doctor, dentist, or mental health or therapy needs. Also, things like sports, travel, and of course the residence of the child. This can be Joint or sole between the parents and does not mean that one parent can’t make decisions without the other, but if you don’t want to be back in court parents should agree on these decisions.

Physical Custody is who the child or children reside with. This also can be sole or joint. However, with joint custody it does not mean that the time split 50/50, and on the flip side it does sole physical custody does not mean that the other parent does not have any custody or visitation. It would depend on the visitation order.

Family law is complicated, and parents have many rights. If you feel overwhelmed or just have a question call the Law Office of Michael P Newman is Corona, California for a free consultation.

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