What are the basics of child custody and parenting time in a San Diego divorce? What are some of the legal concepts you need to understand when approaching child-related issues in your divorce?
The primary legal focus in all child custody and parenting time matters is “the best interest of the child.” This should be the guiding principle as you think through the process and identify your goals and objectives.
From a legal perspective, child custody has two components: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody involves the right to make important decisions regarding the health, education, religious practices and welfare of a child. Physical custody is the right to have the child reside in your home or pick them up from school.
Legal and physical custody can either be “joint” or “sole.” When the Court awards legal and/or physical custody to both parents it is known as joint custody or shared custody. This is usually what is in the best interest of a child. However, there may be issues such as domestic violence, alcohol or drug addiction which lead the Judge to award sole custody to one party or the other.
In order to understand the basics of child custody and parenting time you must consider the type of schedule which would work best for your child. Will the child remain primarily with one parent? If so, the Court will usually issue orders regarding the amount of time and the specific days of the week, hours, holidays or events the child will share with the non-residential parent.
The parenting plan should be as specific as possible. It should address how and when the child will move between households. It should provide open communications for the child(ren) (such as phone calls, texts and emails) with both parents. It should specify the division of important events such as birthdays, vacations and holidays. A detailed parenting plan should anticipate responsibilities if a child isn’t well and how extra-curricular activities will be managed.
These are the basics of child custody and parenting time in a San Diego divorce. You will need the advice and counsel of the experienced Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq to guide you through the process.