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Sacramento Divorce Attorney Discusses Child Custody:

Sacramento Divorce Attorney Discusses Child Custody:

California has a “joint custody” law that encourages judges to award joint “legal custody” to parents. This means that both parents have a right to make decisions concerning their children, such as education, medical treatment and religious training. The court also has the power to award “physical custody” to one or both parents. Physical custody determines where the child actually lives, and it is most common for the children to spend most of their time with one parent. The parent who does not have primary physical custody is usually granted “secondary physical custody,” also called “visitation rights.”

It is most common for the non-custodial parent to have specified periods of time consisting of alternating weekends, one evening per night and one-half of the children’s school vacations. In some cases, the parents agree to “reasonable” secondary physical custody or visitation rights, which means that the parents agree on the times when the non-custodial parents will have the children.

In some cases, a judge will issue orders preventing either parent from changing the residence of the children from a specified geographical area. Locally, it is not uncommon for a judge to restrain the parents from removing the residence of the children from what are referred to as “the seven Southern California counties.” Such orders are common where both parents have a considerable amount of time with the children and removing them from the metropolitan area would be disruptive to the children and their development.

Over the last ten years, courts in California have been dealing with the right of a custodial parent to move with the children to another metropolitan area or out of state. The California State Supreme Court recently decided a case that settled this controversy. Under the new rule, the custodial parent generally has the right to decide where the children are to live, as long as he or she is not moving simply to deny the other parent access to the children.

If you have a question regarding Child Custody and Visitation please contact Sagaria Law at 1-800-941-6730 or visit us at for a free consultation. Our team of Family Law Attorneys can assist you with all aspects of your case. We have divorce attorneys in San Mateo, Monterey, Fremont, Salinas, Sacramento and San Jose.