Overview of California Physical Child Custody Laws

Parenting time, schedules, modifications, move away cases and more

California physical custody laws

Probably more than any other area of child custody law, fathers and mothers are completely confused about what physical custody actually means.

They generally understand legal custody involves the decision-making process concerning the child.

They understand parenting time (sometimes called "visitation") involves the time a parent actually spends with the child.

But what in the world is physical custody?

Physical custody and parenting time are often used synonymously. That means lawyers, judges and even parents sometimes use the term physical custody as if it means the same thing as parenting time.

That is okay to do but, in reality, physical custody is simply a label attached to parenting time.

For example, if parents have a 50/50 custody schedule, those parents often have joint physical custody. Even parents who do not share equal parenting time but share a significant amount of time can have joint physical custody.

But what about parents who have an every other weekend schedule? What about parents who regularly see their children but it is nowhere near equal time?

The articles we wrote on physical custody will help take the mystery out of this often misunderstood topic. We encourage you to read them carefully because they will educate you on sole physical custody, joint physical custody and modifying physical custody.

We hope you enjoy our pages on physical custody and we welcome your feedback on anything you read within them.

You may access them by navigating to the Child Custody link that you will find at the top of our website or simply click on the links below.

If your case will be or is in any of the seven Southern California counties and you want to speak with an experienced and knowledgeable family law attorney, please contact us or complete the contact us form on this website.

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