When navigating divorce, California parents know that one of the most complex aspects of the process will be any issue related to child custody. It is natural to have concerns over what will happen to your child, and parents often feel out of control over what will happen to their relationship with their children.
If you are facing divorce and searching for ways to protect your parental rights while still shielding the best interests of your kids, you do not have to walk through it alone. In fact, it can be beneficial to seek help and guidance to understand more about how child custody works and how you can seek a final order that benefits your entire family.
The different types of custody
There are two types of child custody, and regardless of the specific type of parenting plan you have, you will have to address both legal custody and physical custody. Physical custody refers to the amount of time that a child will actually spend with his or her parents. This includes summer vacation, weekend visitation and more.
Legal custody is also important, and it is prudent to consider this as important as physical custody. Legal custody refers to a parent's right to make important decisions for his or her child, such as choices related to any of the following:
- Religious upbringing
- Extracurricular activities
- Health care
A parent may overlook legal custody while seeking an appropriate amount of time with his or her kids, but you have the right to have a say in the life of your child. Legal custody is important, and you would be prudent to protect your right to play an important role in all aspects of your child's life.
Joint custody arrangements are very popular because they allow the child to have regular access to both parents, but that does not necessarily mean that both parents share legal custody. As you negotiate the terms of your custody arrangement, you can fight for your parental right to make decisions for your kids.
A custody order that actually works
Parents want to avoid future conflict after divorce, and one way to do this is by negotiating and securing a strong custody order that works for your family long term.
If you are concerned about your rights as a parent or have questions about how to pursue a workable custody arrangement, you may find it beneficial to seek an explanation of your rights and options before you agree to any final custody order.