What is the difference between legal and physical custody?

It is preferred by the court that the couple works out custody and visitation rights on their own.  If an agreement cannot be reached, however, the court will step in and work on the principle of what they believe to be the best interests of the child in question. 

The number one custody option is joint legal custody where both parents arrive at major decisions together.  When a parent is awarded legal custody, he or she is given the authority to make all major decisions for the child, including medical, education and religious.  Physical custody refers to how the parents share time with the child.  An experienced Orange County Divorce attorney can discuss custody options with you. 

One parent can be awarded sole legal and physical custody, which means the other parent cannot make major decisions for the child and does not have visitation rights either.  Another example is where one parent has sole legal custody, but both parents have joint physical custody.  While one parent makes all the decisions, they both get to spend time with the child.

If you are used to spending a lot of time with your child and cannot get used to the idea of not spending every day with him or her, it may be time to consult with an experienced Orange County Divorce attorney who will aggressively work to make sure custody and visitation rights are divided somewhat equally – unless the court believes that one party is a hazard to the child’s well-being.