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Sole Custody Versus Joint Custody

girl with mother and father holding hands on the nature. Child with parents outdoors

Figuring out a child custody arrangement for life post-divorce is a complicated undertaking, requiring parents to work together to create parenting plans and time-sharing schedules that meet everybody’s needs, or to litigate the matter in court in the unfortunate event that the parents can’t come up with an agreement on their own. One threshold question that arises in some cases is whether the parents should share custody at all or whether one parent should have sole custody of the kids. Below we discuss the differences between sole custody and shared custody, including the limited circumstances when sole custody might be appropriate. For help navigating a divorce or child custody dispute in Los Angeles or the San Gabriel Valley, contact Blasser Law to discuss your needs and goals with a dedicated and compassionate California family law attorney.

Sole Custody: What It Means and When It’s Granted

Sole custody refers to a legal arrangement where only one parent has the responsibility for the care and decision-making regarding the child. This can include both physical custody, which pertains to where the child lives, and legal custody, which involves the authority to make significant decisions about the child’s upbringing, education, healthcare, and religious instruction.

Courts may grant sole custody in situations where one parent is deemed unfit due to reasons such as substance abuse, domestic violence, or neglect. Additionally, sole custody might be awarded if the parents are unable to cooperate effectively in co-parenting or if one parent is largely absent from the child’s life. In these cases, the non-custodial parent may still have visitation rights, allowing them to maintain a relationship with the child.

Joint Custody: A Collaborative Approach

Joint custody, on the other hand, involves both parents sharing the responsibilities and decision-making for the child. This arrangement can be further categorized into joint legal custody, joint physical custody, or a combination of both.

In joint legal custody, both parents have an equal say in important decisions affecting the child’s life, fostering a cooperative parenting approach. Joint physical custody, meanwhile, refers to the child spending significant time living with each parent, promoting a balanced and active involvement from both sides.

Joint custody is often favored by courts as it is generally believed to serve the best interests of the child, maintaining strong relationships with both parents. However, for joint custody to be successful, it is crucial that the parents communicate effectively and are willing to work together for the well-being of their child.

Factors Considered by California Courts in Making Custody Decisions

When determining custody arrangements, courts in California consider a variety of factors to ensure that the decision is in the best interest of the child. These factors include the child’s age and health, the emotional bond between the child and each parent, each parent’s ability to care for the child, any history of abuse or neglect, and the child’s ties to school, home, and the community. Judges make their decisions based on the evidence presented to them by the parties through their attorneys which speak to each of these factors. In a contested child custody case, it is critical to be represented by a skilled and experienced divorce lawyer who knows the law and legal process and can build and present a compelling and persuasive case regarding all relevant factors. This is particularly crucial when either parent is seeking sole custody and is opposed by the other parent.

Contact Blasser Law for Help With Divorce and Child Custody in Claremont and Southern California

Navigating the complexities of sole custody and joint custody requires a deep understanding of family law and a compassionate approach. Blasser Law, a Claremont family law firm serving Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley, is dedicated to providing legal guidance and support to families during these challenging times. With a focus on the best interests of the child, our experienced attorneys work closely with parents to develop custody arrangements that foster a positive and nurturing environment for the child’s growth and development.

For legal assistance and guidance in divorce, child custody, and related matters, families in Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley can turn to Blasser Law in Claremont for a dedicated family law firm committed to protecting the interests of children and their families. Call 877-927-2181 to get started today.

Blasser Law

445 West Foothill Blvd., Suite 108
Claremont, CA 91711




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