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Divorce 101. A series of occasional blogs about divorcing in California. Part 7. Minor Children and custody

Today we tackle the issue of child custody of minor children in a divorce. The court has an interest in the well-being of minor children, whether born naturally or adopted by the parents, that’s why some information regarding minors needs to be disclosed to the court.
Custody of Minor Children in a Divorce. Both parents must address the matter of child custody. At the beginning stage of the divorce filing, only basic information is required regarding the minor children.
To file a divorce case in Los Angeles, the initial petition must state who shall have the physical and legal custody of the minors. Let’s review the terminology used in the petition:
Sole Physical Custody: Sole physical custody means the children shall reside with and under the supervision of one parent.
Joint Physical Custody: Joint physical custody means both parents will have extended periods of physical custody. It doesn’t need to be an exact 50/50 split. A couple can have joint physical custody even if, for example, the minor children live with one parent during the week and with the other one during weekends.
Sole Legal Custody: Sole legal custody means only one parent shall have the right and responsibility to make decisions about the health, education and general welfare of the children. This is unrelated to the physical custody, so the other parent can maintain visitation rights.
Joint Legal Custody: Joint legal custody means both parents share the right and the responsibility to make decisions about the health, education and general welfare of the children. In our experience at the Woodland Hills office of The Document People/We the People, joint legal custody is by far the preferred choice, even in the event the physical custody is reserved to only one of the parents.
The Document People is a network of legal document assistants with a common purpose: helping customers with inexpensive divorces. We are looking forward to offering you divorce services in our offices in Woodland Hills We the People, Santa Monica We the People, San Fernando, Torrance, Anaheim and Oceanside.
The information contained in this blog – including information of a legal nature – is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.