Child custody and visitation arrangements are often one of the most contested aspects of any relationship disillusionment. Of course, this is understandable as most people want to continue to serve an active role in their child's lives, even once their relationship with the child's parent has ended. When it comes to visitation and child custody arrangements, each state differs slightly, although the primary focus of any court is the child's well-being. What that looks like in practical terms, though, can vary. The following is what you can expect when facing a visitation or child custody situation in the state of California:
There are two main types of child custody that being physical and legal custody. Legal custody means you have the right to make decisions regarding your child's upbringing. These decisions could include choices about religion, education or the like. Physical custody is just what it sounds like, you provide the physical care for your child and interact with them on a regular basis. There are a few ways child custody can be divided up. In California, courts like to award joint physical and legal custody. This is where both the legal and physical aspects of raising a child are split equally (or close to) between the two parents.
Visitation is the legal right of a parent to spend physical time with their child. The type of visitation that you experience will depend on the type of custody arrangement you agree upon. If you are sharing custody and thus have equal joint custody, visitation isn't a huge issue. The living arrangement of your child will be equally shared. How that works can vary, and it doesn't have to be split 50/50 exactly, but in general, your child will physically spend around the same amount of time with you as they do with their other parent. If your former spouse has sole custody, though, and you have visitation rights, then visitation becomes very important to you as this will determine the amount of time you get to physically spend with your child. If you feel your visitation rights are lacking, you need to seek the help of a visitation attorney who can fight for your right to spend more time with your child.
Just because your relationship has ended, doesn't mean you want to lose time with your child. We at the Law Office of Richard L. Cookson are ready to fight for your rights when it comes to child custody and visitation, ensuring you stay close to your kids. Call us today to learn more.