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7 Jun. 2012

Types of Child Custody

Posted By The Buncher Law Corporation

There are times when I need to offer our clients a basic primer on legal definitions and the court as we wind through the legal process. For the next several weeks, I will post definitions, explanations and general commentary about the legal details that affect family law.

In our first installment, I begin with the rights of parents to care for, have custody of, and nurture their children. The character of this area of law is such that it does not violate fundamental principles of liberty and justice that lie at the base of all our civil and political institutions.

So fundamental a right, it is protected by Amendments 1, 5, 9, and 14 of the U.S. Constitution. We also follow court precedence as a guide. Doe v. Irwin 441 F Supp 1247; U.S. D.C. of Michigan, (1985), is often held as the precedent that the courts look to issues that deals specifically with child custody.

To many it is unfathomable that a parent would not want to spend as much time with their child as possible but in Family Law there are many factors that go into determining child custody. The foundation of any courts' decision is based on the "Best Interest of the Child."

The courts will look at the age of children, the emotional ties between parent and children, the amount of time each parent spends with children, the presence of substance or physical abuse in the home and the employment and ability for proper care. The following defines the types of custody that the courts award.

Sole legal custody means that only one parent has the right and responsibility to make decisions for the child relating to the child’s health, education, and welfare.

Sole physical custody means that the child resides with and is under the supervision of one parent and may have visitation with the other parent.

Joint legal custody means that both parents share the right and responsibility to make the major decisions for their child (such as the ones affecting their child’s health, education, and welfare).

Joint physical custody means that each parent has significant periods of physical custody and the physical custody is shared so that the child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents. It does not necessarily mean the parents must share the child’s time equally.

Joint custody refers to both parents having joint physical custody and joint legal custody.

If anything you read in any of these blogs triggers interest, I strongly advise that you get direct consultation from your attorney. Contact The Buncher Law Corporation to schedule an appointment with one of our skilled Irvine divorce attorneys.

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