Santa Barbara Family Lawyer Guides You Through the Child Custody Process
Protecting your parental rights in California custody cases
There is no stronger bond than that between parent and child. Child custody disputes are among the most frustrating and emotionally draining aspects of a divorce or legal separation. As a family lawyer with extensive experience in this area, I, McCleary (Mac) H. Sanborn, III, Attorney at Law help mitigate the stress of this process and offer compassionate guidance and counsel for you. If your child custody dispute takes you to court, I provide you with compassionate yet competent representation.
In California, there are several types of child custody issues you will need to familiarize yourself with as part of the divorce process:
- Physical custody
- Legal custody
What is physical custody?
Physical custody is the legal right to house a child on a daily basis and the responsibility to provide for his or her physical needs. In most cases, physical custody includes maintaining the domicile of the child and providing consistent shelter, care and support for him or her.
What is legal custody?
California encourages joint (both parents) legal custody. Legal custody, whether joint or by one parent, means making all major decisions that involve the child. Legal custody involves the right to make decisions about:
- The type of school the child attends
- The type of religious training or education that the child experiences
- The quality and type of healthcare the child receives
- Travel plans
Types of visitation
Visitation is the basic plan for how a child’s time will be shared between parents. A parent with visitation rights does not have majority custody. There are four main types of visitation orders in the state of California:
- No visitation — A parent is refused visitation because a judge deems that it would be emotionally or physically detrimental to a child if visitation were allowed
- Scheduled visitation — This type of visitation requires a pre-planned schedule of allotted time for visitation with input from both parents and a judge
- Reasonable visitation — Reasonable visitation is not pre-planned or mandated by a judge. The parents work out a flexible schedule that is agreeable to both of them
- Supervised visitation — In supervised visitation, a judge allows a parent to visit with a child but only under the supervision of the other parent or an adult charged with monitoring the situation