Legal separation, divorce or simply the break-up of a relationship can have devastating affects on a child. A child naturally loves both their mother and father and needs and deserves the love and support of each parent (unless of course maintaining such relationships would cause harm to the child). Therefore, parents should always keep in mind THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD at all times. Disputes between fighting adults oftentimes involve child custody. Here are the basics to keep in mind regarding California child custody laws.In California and the majority of other states there are four legal forms of child custody rights: (1) joint legal custody, (2) sole legal custody, (3) joint physical custody and (5) sole physical custody.In most cases, parents automatically have Joint Legal Custody of their minor children, whether the parents live together or separately. Joint legal custody means that the parents share the right and responsibility to make important decisions about their children’s health, education and welfare. Such decisions might include, for example, where the child attends school or what extracurricular activities the child will be involved in. Many parents, especially fathers, are unaware that both parents have equal custodial rights to their children. This right may be altered based on several factors, for example, if a father fails to visit a child that does not live with him, father child custody rights may be altered as a consequence. Custody laws favor the parent who is constant in a child’s life.Sole Legal Custody means that one parent has the right to make decisions related to the health, education and welfare of the children.Joint Physical Custody means that the child lives with each parent on a regular basis. This does not mean, however, that the children must spend equal amounts of time with each parent.Sole Physical Custody means the child lives with one parent and the other parent has visitation rights with the child.When parents are unable to agree on custody or visitation, a judge makes the decision for the parents. There are several steps to finalizing a custody plan, but custody and visitation will be decided on a temporary basis if immediate problems arise.Before any court hearing involving child custody rights or visitation, both parents are required to meet with a trained counselor hired by the court. The counselor will try to help parents agree on a custody and parenting plan and discuss child custody laws. These sessions are arranged through Conciliation Court or mediation offices, and are held in private offices located in the courthouse in your county.The judge may give custody to one or both parents, or, in some cases, to another adult based on the best interests of the child. Considerations include the child’s health, safety and welfare, as well as any history of abuse by one parent. For custody to be awarded to someone other than a parent, however, the judge would have to believe that giving custody of child to either parent would be detrimental or harmful to the child. Thus, when it comes to custody of children, never forget the BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD, because the judge won’t forget!Should you need more information or help with your child custody or other legal matter, visit http://www.readilegal.com
What are some common 50 50 child custody schedules, arrangements or parenting plans? There are many different 50/50 parenting schedules where the child spends an equal amount of time with each parent. The type of plan chosen and how the child spends time with each parent should reflect what’s best for the children and may vary from family to family depending on many factors such as the age of the children, relationship the child has with each parent, work schedules, distance between parent’s homes, etc. along with other family dynamics. Below are some common 50 50 child custody schedules the can be altered according to what works best for your children and your specific situation.3-4-4-3 Parenting Schedule
One common 50 50 child custody schedule is a 3-4-4-3 schedule. An example of this parenting schedule is where the child spends time with parent A from Wednesday through Friday in Week One and Wednesday through Saturday Week Two. And the child would spend time with Parent B from Saturday through Tuesday in Week One and Sunday through Tuesday in Week Two.This parenting schedule allows for the children to spend an equal amount of time with each parent and have frequent and continuous contact while not going without seeing either parent for more than four days. With this schedule the week day time is consistent between homes with only a few transitions throughout the month. This 50 50 child custody arrangement is more often seen in situations where the children are younger.2-2-3-2-2-3 Parenting Schedule
Another common 50 50 child custody schedule is a 2-2-3-2-2-3 schedule. This parenting schedule is where the child spends Week One with Parent A on Monday and Tuesday (2 days), Parent B on Wednesday and Thursday (2 days) and the weekend with Parent A on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (3 days). The child spends Week Two with Parent B on Monday and Tuesday (2 days), Parent A on Wednesday and Thursday (2 days) and the weekend with Parent B on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (3 days)This parenting schedule allows for the children to spend an equal amount of time with both parents during the week and on weekends. The parents will alternate weekends Friday-Sunday. The consistency of two consecutive day periods either Monday-Tuesday or Wednesday-Thursday will alternate from week-to-week. While there are a couple more transitions than the 5-2-2-5 schedule, the 2-2-3-2-2-3 schedule allows the child to spend an equal amount of time with both parents and have frequent and continuous contact with both parents, during the week and weekend, with the child not going more than three days without seeing either parent. This 50 50 child custody arrangement is more often seen in cases where the children are a little younger and spending more than three consecutive days with either parent is a concern or preferred.5-2-2-5 Parenting Schedule
Another common 50 50 child custody schedule is a 5-2-2-5 schedule. This parenting schedule is where the child is with Parent A every Monday and Tuesday (2 days) and Parent B every Wednesday and Thursday (2 days). The weekends from Friday through Sunday would be alternated (3 days) between the parents. The child will be with the parent whose weekend it is for 5 days and the other parent 2 days. Because the weekend time alternates from week to week, the child would end up spending 50% time with both parents.This parenting schedule allows for the children to spend an equal amount of time with both parents during the week and on weekends. It also affords the children to spend a longer block of time with each parent with only a few transitions between homes throughout the month. This 50 50 child custody arrangement is more often seen in cases where the children are a little bit older and can go without seeing either parent for five consecutive days.Alternating Weeks Parenting Schedule
Another common 50 50 child custody arrangement is an alternating week schedule or “one week on and one week off” parenting schedule. This parenting schedule is where the child spends one week (7 days) with Parent A in Week One and one week (7 days) with Parent B in Week Two. This schedule is quite common and is more often seen in cases where the children are older and can go without seeing either parent for seven consecutive days.A common modification of the alternating week schedule is to have a mid-week visit or overnight on Wednesday. In other words, the parent who the child is not with for a given week will have a dinner visit or overnight during the mid-week – typically on Wednesday. As the children grow older, they may be able to transition to a full alternating week parenting schedule. This parenting schedule is often seen in cases where the children are younger.The alternating week parenting schedule allows the child to spend an equal 50% time with both parents during the week and weekend. It can also make for an easier and more consistent schedule transition during Winter, Spring and Summer break if the schedule remains the same or similar during the holidays.2010 Child Custody Coach. All rights reserved.