Sole vs. joint child custody arrangements

On Behalf of | Apr 24, 2022 | Child Support, Divorce & Legal Separation |

When asked about the general topic of child custody, those unfamiliar with the law may assume it solely involves what parent the child resides with. Calfornia child custody decisions could be far more complex and may center around determinations over sole or joint custody. Soon-to-divorce spouses might benefit from seeking immediate clarification between the two.

Legal differences separate sole legal custody and joint legal custody. The core difference between the two centers on decision-making powers. With sole child custody, one parent has the legal authority to make all decisions regarding the child’s life. So, one parent could choose the young one’s doctor, schooling, housing, and more.

Often, sole legal custody results when the other parent proves incapable of making any decisions. A violent, abusive spouse who suffers from a gambling addiction would not likely be in a position to care for a child.

Joint legal child custody arrangements would share those responsibilities. With joint legal custody, communication between the parents becomes critical. Unfortunately, conflict may exist, and the parties may need to work disagreements out.

Establishing commitment and responsibility

Sole and joint child custody hearings might become complicated. Presenting a parenting plan could move a joint custody agreement in a preferable direction. Sometimes, a spouse may need to refute false claims intended to support a sole custody arrangement.

Both parents must make a compelling case in court to prove they take the child’s welfare seriously. Making statements in court might not be enough to establish how close a relationship between parent and child is.

Entering records of communication in court might prove the relationship more clearly. A parent who texts and messages a child routinely could better establish proof of the relationship. Similarly, canceled checks, money transfers, and other records that reveal financial support could show a parent’s actively being responsible for the young one’s living expenses.