Child Custody in North County Divorce Cases

Pierre Domercq Child Custody and Visitation

While this is a blog and is not intended to provide legal advice, many North County residents are seeking information about divorce and child custody as they consider or prepare for a potential divorce. How will custody of your child or children be handled?
California law is focused upon what is in the best interest of the child. Whenever possible, the Courts wish for a child to spend equal “quality time” with each parent, as this is what California law has found to be best for a child in most cases.
The two concepts to begin to understand are “custody” and “parenting time or visitation.”
“Physical Custody” refers to the legal authority to have residential or physical custody of the child, while “Legal Custody” refers to the authority to make decisions regarding the health, education, religious practices and extra-curricular activities associated with your child’s life.
The Courts may order “Joint Custody” which provides each parent equal physical and legal custody standing with regards to the child. They may also decide upon “sole” custody, awarding these rights to one parent only. Sole custody is more rare these days, and is often associated with cases of alcohol or drug abuse, physical violence or criminal activity.
“Parenting Time” refers to what is often called “visitation” – how much time will the child spend with each parent, and what will the schedule between households look like?
In many cases the parents will divide time between each home in a manner that allows for smooth transitions based upon the natural rythms of the family. In other situations, a more rigid schedule may be a better suited for the existing “status quo” – the present schedule, activities and lifestyle of the child.
The California and North County custody and visitation guidelines are broadly focused upon the best interests of the child. The attorneys at Burke & Domercq have decades of experience here in North County and Carlsbad divorces and we can share practical experience and advice based upon the law based upon your unique circumstances.
We invite you to contact us or call 760-712-3741 to schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys.