Who Has Legal Custody of a Child? 

There are several ways to get custody of a child. Joint legal custody, Sole legal custody, Physical custody and visitation rights are all types of custody. Choosing which one is right for you will depend on the situation of your family and the circumstances surrounding the child. A child’s situation can be complicated, but there are a few tips to help you make the right decision. 

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Joint legal custody 

Joint legal custody of a child is an option that the family court often awards when parents cannot agree on the best interests of their child. It has many benefits for children and can reduce the strains on single parents. However, this arrangement only works well if both parents work together after the divorce. This will ensure that both parents communicate about the children and their needs. 

Parents must be able to share responsibilities and values. If the parents are not able to get along, joint legal custody can be challenging and difficult. Even if both parents agree on most decisions, it may be impossible to collaborate if there is a lack of respect between them. 

Sole legal custody 

Sole custody is a child custody arrangement where one parent has legal and physical custody of the child. This arrangement is often beneficial for a child. It allows a parent to be there when the child needs him or her. It also offers a parent the ability to make decisions about the child’s welfare. 

Sole legal custody is generally awarded to the parent who is better equipped to make decisions for the child. It is also practical for parents who live in different states, time zones, or countries. 

Physical custody 

Legal custody is the right of a parent to make important decisions for a child. There are two types of legal custody: joint legal custody and sole physical custody. In joint legal custody, both parents share decision-making rights, which can be beneficial for children. But joint legal custody does not mean that both parents must agree on every decision. Both parents need to communicate effectively to avoid disagreements and cooperate on important decisions. 

Joint physical custody is unusual and generally only awarded in cases where one parent is physically abusive or neglectful. In some cases, it may be awarded to a parent who is not fit to be the child’s main caregiver. However, joint legal custody is the most common. 

Visitation rights 

A child’s visitation rights are determined by a court order. Typically, the parents are allowed to take the child to their own homes, and they can even go on outings during scheduled visitation time. Certain limitations, however, may apply. For example, a breastfeeding mother may be required to stay at her home until the baby is ready to take a bottle. 

If the parents cannot agree on visitation rights, they may petition for a modification. Usually, this requires the requesting parent to prove a change in circumstances that affect the child. A court will only make changes if the change in visitation is in the best interests of the child. 

Effects of domestic violence 

Domestic violence can greatly affect the legal custody of a child. Even if the abuse was not intentional, a judge will have to take into account the circumstances of the abuse to determine custody. A parent who has engaged in violent behavior will be unlikely to be awarded legal custody, but may receive visitation rights or other parental rights. As a result, it is critical that the victim of domestic violence maintain a healthy relationship with both parents. 

California courts will consider the well-being of the child when determining custody. Because domestic violence can lead to severe harm to the child, the court will be extremely careful when determining a parent’s right to visit or share time with the child. However, this does not mean that a parent cannot have a healthy relationship with the child and still maintain custody.