San Jose Divorce Attorney discusses Child Custody
Recently in the news, Britney spears has been making waves regarding her child custody battle with her ex-husband Kevin Federline. On July 17, 2008, Spears agreed to give her ex-husband Federline sole legal and physical custody of their two sons, Sean Preston and Jayden James, while she retains visitation rights. Under the agreement, Spears will be allowed to have three days and one night a week with the boys.
In California, child custody is broken into two parts: physical and legal custody. Sole physical custody means that the child will reside with and under the supervision of, one parent, subject to the court’s power for visitation. Joint physical custody means that each parent will have significant periods of physical custody that ensures that the child have continuing contact with both the parents.
Sole legal custody means that one parent will have the right and responsibility to make decisions regarding the health, education and welfare of the child. Joint legal custody means that the parents will share that right and responsibility. In this case, Britney Spears, most likely due to her recent erratic and sometimes irresponsible behavior, has allowed for Federline to have sole physical and sole legal custody. This means that the children will reside with Federline, and that Federline will be the parent that makes all the decisions regarding the children’s well-being.
Although it seems it seems radical to give a failing hip-hop artist sole legal and physical custody of two young children both under the age of 4, the court has granted this order under legislated public policy. In California, custody must be awarded according to the child’s best interest (Family Code 3040(a)) The legislature has declared that it is the public policy of the state to ensure that each child’s “health, safety, and domestic violence in the child’s residence, be the court’s primary concern in determining the child’s best interest when making physical or legal custody orders.” Therefore, despite Federline’s disparaging reputation as a partier, the court has deemed him to be a parent that will look after the welfare and safety of his children, over that of the children’s mother Britney Spears. Spears will however have a chance to modify these custody orders as long as the children are still minors and as long as she can show that she too will be a competent parent.
If you have a child custody issue or question please contact our office for a free consultation. Our team of Family Law Attorneys can assist you with all aspects of child custody and visitation whether it is part of a divorce action or a paternity matter. We have attorneys in Monterey, Fremont and San Jose who can assist you with all aspects of your family law cases.