FREQUENTLY ASKED CHILD CUSTODY QUESTIONS IN A
What decisions can I make if I have joint legal custody?
What is the difference between legal and physical custody?
Can I get sole physical custody?
Legal custody allows the parents to make legal decisions for the minor child. Those decisions involved religious instruction, schooling, medical care, therapy, etc. Physical custody involves the parenting time with the minor child.
The courts rarely grant sole physical custody. However, if one parent is unable to care for the children, the other parent may get sole physical custody. In most situations, the courts will order joint physical custody especially if both parents have signficiant parenting time with the child. Joint physical custody does not mean that the parents have equal time with the children, it just means that both have significant time with the child.
California Family Code §3003
states that parents who have been awarded joint legal custody have the "right and the responsibility to make the decisions relating to the health, education, and welfare" of the minor child. The parties must obtain joint consent for any orders that require both parents to consent.
California Family Code §3083
requires the court to specify which decisions the parents must make jointly and the consequence for the failure to make those decisions jointly. If the court does not do so, then either party may act alone.
How do I change visitation?
If you have a final order for visitation and the other parent will not agree to a request to change visitation, you must file a motion to modify visitation in Orange County. In order to change custody, you must prove to a judge that there is a change in circumstances to jusify a change in custody.
My child does not want to visit with my ex, how can I end visitation?
There are two times where a parent can stop visitation with the other parent. The first is when the parent can prove to a judge that the other parent is an unfit parent. The second is when the minor child is mature enough to make a decision about visitation. In both situations, an order should be issued before visitation ends.
I want to move away, how do I do that?
What is physical custody?
Before a parent moves away, it is important to give the other parent advance notice in writing. The notice should give the parent who is not moving enough time to file a motion to request that custody or visitation be modified.
If there are custody orders in place, the moving party must take care to avoid violating any custody orders when moving unless the party obtains a new custody order.
Physical custody is the physical time that each parent spends with the minor child. If an Orange County Court orders joint physical custody, it does not mean that the parties each have equal custody, it merely means that both parties have signficiant visitation. If one parent has little or no visitation with the minor child, then the other parent will have sole physical custody. If a parent has sole physical custody, he or she may move the child away from the home state. However, even in those situations, the other parent must receive adequate notice in order to challenge the move-away in court.
More child custody questions for California Divorces.
How can I subpoena my spouse's medical records?
Doctor's records and therapist's records are protected by the doctor-patient privilege. If the parent holding the privilege does not waive the doctor-patient privilege or if the parent has not put his or her mental status “at issue,” the court will will abide by the wishes of the parent who holds the privilege. The privilege can only be waived by the party holding the privilege. If it is not waived, then the other parent cannot get access to the records.