Below, we answer some of the questions we are commonly asked about child custody and visitation.
Question: Are there different types of child custody arrangements?
A: The following custody agreements can be awarded to parents who are divorced or separated:
- Legal Custody: This determines who has the legal right to make medical, dental and religious decisions for the child
- Physical Custody: Where the child physically resides. Not to be confused with visitation or timeshare.
- Sole Custody: One parent has the right to make all the legal decisions for the child and/or has primary physical custody of the child.
- Joint Custody: Both parents share equally the right to make legal custody decisions and share equally the physical custody rights of the child.
- Visitation or “Timeshare”: The actual percentage of time a month the child spends in the physical care of each parent.
Question: What are my custody/visitation rights as a parent?
A: Parents, regardless of gender, have the right to parent (custody) their children and spend time with (visit) with their children. Custody and visitation or “timeshare” arrangements can be determined in mediation or by stipulation between the parties. The standard in determining what is an appropriate custody and visitation arrangements is the “Best Interest of the Child”.
Question: Do grandparents have custody/visitation rights?
A: Grandparents have limited rights to custody and visitation in California. If a party is seeking “custody” of a child biology is irrelevant. They would have to prove that they have an interest in the child’s well-being such that it is in the child’s best interest that he/she joins an existing family law case between the natural parents. Such custody orders are unusual. Grandparents have an easier time, also in limited circumstances, seeking a visitation schedule to see the children, over the parent’s objection, by filing a Petition for Visitation. This request can be made by any family member in certain circumstances.
Question: What do courts consider in child custody cases?
A: Courts will look at the following factors when determining child custody:
- The quality of the relationship the child has with each parent
- Whether the child has relationships with other siblings or relatives
- If the child has extracurricular activities in the community or at school
- Whether the parents have a history of domestic abuse or substance abuse
Speak to a Family Law Attorney in Sacramento
Do you have more questions about child custody and visitation? If so, you should get in touch with our law firm to get the answers you are looking for. At Bez Law Firm, P.C., we are dedicated to helping clients throughout Sacramento resolve their family law disputes. We can review the details of your case to make sure that your rights are protected.
Call (916) 756-3154 to set up a consultation to discuss your situation with a Sacramento family law lawyer.