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Types of child custody and your rights as a parent

California parents who are facing a divorce or custody dispute know that the decisions made during this process will affect their children for many years. Child custody is often one of the most contentious issues in divorces, but parents can avoid unnecessary disputes and complications simply by understanding more about the child custody options available to them. 

Some parents do not realize that there are different types of child custody. In fact, there is much more to a custody order than just the amount of time you will be able to spend with your child. When fighting to protect your parental rights and the best interests of your kids through a beneficial custody order, it is immensely helpful to understand the differences between the different types of child custody. 

What do you need to know about custody? 

Child custody arrangements involve more than just deciding how much time a child will spend with one parent or the other. Issues such as parental responsibilities, decision-making authority and holiday visitation are just some of the factors you may take into consideration when negotiating or fighting for a custody arrangement that works. Some of the child custody options available to you include the following:

  • Joint or sole physical custody
  • Joint or sole legal custody

There is ample proof that children do better when allowed to have strong relationships with both parents after divorce. For this reason, joint custody arrangements are more common than sole custody arrangements.

Even in joint custody arrangements, parents must address legal and physical custody. Legal custody refers to a parent's right to make important decisions on behalf of the child while physical custody refers to the amount of time that a child will spend with his or her parent. Parents may share legal custody, or one parent can retain this right while still sharing parenting time.

Your rights as a parent

You may feel that your divorce will compromise your rights as a parent. This is a normal concern, but with help, you can pursue a custody and visitation order that allows you to retain a strong relationship with your children for years to come.

When it comes to your role in the life of your child or best interests of your kids, it is prudent to know about the types of custody and what they could mean for your individual situation. This can start with a complete evaluation of your case.

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William A. Feinberg 1928 - 2001

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