Protecting your custody and parenting time in a Carlsbad divorce is one of the most important goals for the majority of parents. What is the difference between “child custody” and “parenting time” also known as “visitation” and how are these established in a North County or Carlsbad divorce?
Child custody refers to the party with the legal right to make decisions regarding where a child lives, as well as important decisions regarding healthcare, religion, education, extra-curricular activities and all aspects of a child’s life.
There are two types of custody: Physical and Legal. “Physical custody” generally refers to where a child will live after a divorce or separation. “Legal custody” generally refers to the right to make major decisions about a child’s welfare, health, and education.
Custody in California divorce cases is usually classified as “Joint” or “Sole” custody. Joint custody means both parents will share these responsibilities and sole custody means one of the parents will be given the sole responsibility for physical or legal custody decisions or both.
What is Parenting Time?
Parenting time is totally different from “custody.” Parenting time literally refers to the amount of quality time each child will spend with each parent after a separation or divorce. Parenting time is often called “visitation” and the “Parenting Plan” (also known as a “custody and visitation agreement”) describes how the child’s time will be divided between the two separate households of the parents after orders are issued.
Protecting your custody and parenting time in a Carlsbad divorce requires insight into the process and a sound, effective strategy. California law and our Carlsbad Courts believe it is in the best interests of the child to spend an “equal amount of quality time” with each parent, even if this doesn’t necessarily mean a 50/50 split between the parties. Our local Courts have developed the “Developing a Child Custody Parenting Plan” handbook for parents.
In this document two important guidelines should be noted:
“Providing a consistent, simple, and predictable schedule with smooth transitions between the parents’ homes,” and “ensuring the child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents, when safe to do so.”
Differences between the parties in custody and parenting time issues often leads to an expensive, time-consuming dispute. This doesn’t have to be the case. It is absolutely possible to cost-effectively manage these issues while Protecting your custody and parenting time in a Carlsbad divorce. Contact the Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq or call 760-434-3330 to learn more or schedule an appointment.