More than just physical custody

Pierre Domercq Divorce

Parents who live in California and throughout the country might not understand what it means to have custody of children, or they might be confused about shared custody in the early stages of separating. A custodial parent is the one who the child lives with the majority of the time in most situations. Even though a parent has physical custody of a child, it doesn’t always mean that the parent has legal custody. When one parent is not involved in the child’s life, then the parent who has physical custody normally has to file for legal custody.
A custodial parent has more time with the child. A visitation schedule can be arranged so that the other parent spends time with the child as well, but the custodial parent usually spends more days throughout the month with the child. The parent can attend school functions, special events and share holidays with the other parent if the agreement is in the best interest of the child.
Custodial parents can usually file for child support and receive monetary support from the other parent based on state guidelines. The custodial parent can often apply for other benefits as well, such as state healthcare and nutrition services.
When a couple separates or one parent does not acknowledge the child, it may be difficult to establish child custody without the assistance of a family law attorney. Although the child might live with one parent, the proper paperwork needs to be filed to legally establish custody if there are any concerns about a child support order or if there is a fear that the other parent might try to keep the child longer than a scheduled visitation agreement. Legal child custody is beneficial for school purposes as well as obtaining any kind of government assistance or when filing taxes at the beginning of the year.