North County couples going through a divorce may not know the child custody options available to a judge when deciding issues regarding children during a divorce. When judges make any decision regarding the custody of a child they must give serious consideration to many factors, including but not limited to:
- the child’s age
- the child’s health
- existing patterns regarding education, healthcare, religious practices, social and extra-curricular activities
- the presence and support of family and close friends
- any history of abuse and other elements conducive to the general safety and welfare of the child
- the child’s own wishes provided that the child has reached a level of maturity sufficient to articulate his or her desires in a rational way. (Children over the age of 14 have the right to express their opinion with regard to parental custody)
In California, there are four different types of child custody from which the judge may choose:
sole physical custody – the child will only live with one of their parents
sole legal custody – only one parent has the power to make choices about the child’s health care, education and other major matters
joint physical custody – the child lives with both parents on a regular basis
joint legal custody – both parents have the legal authority to dictate choices concerning the child’s life.
In the majority of cases each former spouse shares joint physical and legal custody with the other parent. This is commonly referred to as “Shared Parenting.” If circumstances change, child custody options may be altered as well to fit the new situation. In some cases, when both parents agree on a new order, the judge may approve these changes without a hearing. In other cases, the parties must request a hearing of the post-decree matter from our Family Court.
When negotiating matters of custody and parenting time you will find it helpful to speak with our experienced family law attorneys. We provide parents with information and sound advice regarding custody and parenting time matters. Moreover, our experienced team can help to obtain a favorable resolution to negotiations, mediation or outcome concerning child custody and parenting time issues.
Are you concerned about child custody options in a North County or Carlsbad divorce? We invite you to review the strong recommendations of our clients and the legal industry and contact Burke & Domercq or call (760) 434-3330 to learn more or schedule an appointment.