Legal and Physical Custody Lawyers

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Most Common Family Law Issues:

What is Legal Custody?

Legal custody awards a parent or parents the right and responsibility to make child-rearing decisions.  Such decisions include issues like education, discipline, religion and medical care.

Is It Possible to Establish Joint Legal Custody?

It is possible for both parents to be awarded joint legal custody.  In this situation, both parents will have equal rights to important decision-making.  Joint legal custody is most likely to be awarded to parents who have the ability and desire to cooperate with each other to ensure that the best interests of the child are protected.   Because this involves a certain level of parent-to-parent interaction, parents who cannot civilly and rationally discuss their child's interests are not likely to be awarded joint legal custody.

What is Physical Custody?

Physical custody refers to the child's primary residence.  That is, if the child lives with her mother, the mother is said to have physical custody of the child.  The decision of which parent gets physical custody of the child depends largely on what is in the best interests of the child. 

Is it Possible to Establish Joint Physical Custody?

It is possible to establish joint physical custody, but this is unusual.  When the child is able to live with each parent for a significant period of time every year, both parents are said to have joint physical custody.  This is rare, however, because the psychological and social impacts of living in two separate places at the same time are often hard for a child, and this sort of lifestyle is not often in a child's best interests.

Do I Need a Lawyer for My Child Custody Issues?

If you are looking to establish or modify child custody, it would be wise to consult with a family lawyer.  Working with an experienced family lawyer can help you understand your rights and help you deal with the complicated court system.

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Last Modified: 04-08-2014 02:50 PM PDT

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