California Info

California Divorce Start Your Divorce Find Professionals California Articles Divorce Facts Divorce Grounds Residency Divorce Laws Mediation/Counseling Divorce Process Legal Separation Annulments Property Division Alimony Child Custody Child Support Divorce Forms Process Service Grandparent Rights Forum California Products Divorce by County

California Articles

Agreements Attorney Relationship Custody & Visitation Child Support Collaborative Law Counseling Divorce/General Domestic Abuse Domestic Partnership Financial Planning Foreign Divorce Mediation Parenting Property Division Spousal Support SEE ALL

Info Categories

Contemplating Divorce Children & Divorce Divorce, Dollars & Debt Divorce Laws Divorce Process Divorce Negotiation SEE ALL

More Information

Articles Checklists Research Center Cases of Interest Dictionary Encyclopedia Encyclopedia (pop-up) Blogs

For Professionals

Advertise With Us Free Network Page Join Our Network Submit Articles Sign In

Network Sites

California Divorce Support California Divorce Online

Child Custody Basics - Rights, Residency, and Relationships

"Child custody" is a legal term that is often used by family courts to describe the rights and responsibilities of divorced parents and their minor children, the residency or placement of the children, and the relationship and/or amount of contact the children have with each parent. When divorced parents are unable to agree on such issues, the family courts are often left with the difficult task of determining the best custodial arrangement for the children and parenting plan for the parents. The more parents understand what is involved in child custody determinations, the more informed they will be in making decisions regarding their children after a divorce.

Rights and responsibilities of the parents

The rights and responsibilities of each parent to his or her minor children include decisions regarding the raising and general welfare of the children on issues such as the children's education, medical care, dental care, and religion. Such rights and responsibilities are commonly referred to as "legal custody" of the children.

Residency or placement of the children

The residency or placement of children refers to where the children will live and spend the majority of their time. Oftentimes, a child will live with one parent more than the other parent, and the parent that the child lives with the most will typically be responsible for the day-to-day care of the child. In some cases, the child will live equally with both parents, close to equally with both parents, or live a significant amount of time with each parent and the parents will share in the responsibilities and day-to-day care of the child. Residency and day-to-day care comprise what is commonly known as "physical custody" of the children.

Relationship and/or amount of contact the children have with each parent

In the case where the child resides or lives primarily with one parent, the time spent with the other parent is often referred to as "visitation." The parent that the child lives with more is often referred to as the "custodial parent" and the parent with visitation is referred to as the "noncustodial parent." In such cases, the noncustodial parent will typically have a visitation schedule that details his or her contact with the children. The visitation schedule is sometimes referred to as a "parenting arrangement."

Was this helpful? Like our site & let us know.

Related Articles

Start California Divorce Start Your California Online Divorce Today
Easy, Fast and Affordable with a 100% Guarantee.
California Divorce Find California Divorce Professionals in Your Area:
Join the Network
California Divorce Products, Services and Solutions California Divorce Products, Services and Solutions
California Divorce Resources to Help You Through the Process.
Online Parenting Class California Mandatory Online Parenting Class
Easy and convenient - complete at your own pace online.
Divorce and Custody Books Discount Divorce Bookstore
Over 100 Titles of the Best Books on Divorce & Custody.
Divorce Downloads Divorce Download Center
Instantly Download, Books, Manuals, & Forms.
Divorce Worksheet Free California Divorce Worksheet & Separation Agreement
Your Guide to Get Organized and Put Everything in Writing.
A party may also obtain a quick and easy divorce if the spouse fails to file a response in the case and therefore defaults. The filing spouse serves their spouse with the Petition for Dissolution of marriage and if he or she does not respond with a formal Response to the court, then the case will proceed by default.
Divorce Lawyers & Mediators

Find Professionals

Easily Connect With a Lawyer or Mediator
Have Divorce Professionals from Your Area Contact You!
Enter Your Zip Code:


Start Your Divorce File for a California Divorce


Settle Your Divorce Negotiate Your California Divorce


Support Forum California Support Forum

Guarantee Official PayPal Seal Facebook Twitter Versign Secure Site