Child Custody and Visitation

Child CustodyDisagreement and conflict often arise regarding child custody because both parents love their children and want to spend as much time as possible with them.

Two main categories describe the most basic arrangements for child custody:

  • Legal Custody assigns parental responsibility for decisions regarding healthcare, education, religious affiliation and social activities for the child.
  • Physical Custody assigns parental responsibility for daily needs and care such as food, clothes, hygiene and where the child lives.

Within the framework of these two basic categories, the court will further define the parameters of sole or joint custody. Child support and child custody are often somewhat intertwined – the parent who takes physical custody of the child may not pay child support, and many variations of sole and joint custody regarding legal and physical custody are possible. Having a competent family law attorney to explain all the options and assist you in custody decisions can make a significant difference in choosing what is best for your children.

Developing a child custody plan takes into consideration the following factors:

  • The child’s need for stability and continuity
  • The child’s health, safety and welfare
  • The child’s emotional bonds
  • The child’s preference, depending on the age of the child

If either parent has a history of using controlled substances, child abuse or criminal activity, this history will also heavily weigh into the court’s ruling for child custody.

To receive legal advice and discuss your custody case, contact our office at 408-292-4849 to schedule a free initial consultation.