How does Joint Custody Work?

California law separates custody into legal and physical custody.  California law encourages joint legal custody for both parents.  Legal custody is the right to make decisions about the child including education, medical treatment, and religious choices.  Physical custody, on the other hand, is where the child actually lives.  Commonly children spend most time with one parent.  Usually, the other parent will have secondary physical custody or visitation rights.  A common arrangement is for the parent with secondary physical custody to have specific times such as one evening per week, alternating weekends, and half of school vacation time.  Likewise, parents sometimes work out their own schedule for reasonable secondary physical custody or visitation.  Sometimes, where there is multiple children parents may split the custody with each parent taking one or more children, but absent parental agreement, courts prefer not to separate siblings.  Lastly, joint physical custody can also be an option in some cases; however, it requires a high degree of cooperation and communication among parents.  Joint physical custody most often comes about in cases where an agreement can be reached since cooperation is an important precondition.  Call Sagaria Law today to schedule your initial consultation with one of our knowledgeable, experienced attorneys so you can learn more.