Initial child custody and visitation is decided by the court by determining what is in the “best interests of the child”. As to custody, California law prefers joint legal custody for children whose parents are divorcing. Joint legal custody means that both parents will have a say in the education, medical treatment and extracurricular activities of their children. It does not have anything to do with where the children will live or how much time the children will spend with each parent. That is decided by the visitation schedule, also called the parenting plan. How the time is divided up between the parents depends upon the facts of the individual case, with the goal of providing continual contact between parent and child. Factors looked at in setting a visitation schedule are the ages of the children, the work schedule of the parents, and where each parent lives. Once a parenting plan is in place then the percentage with each parent can be calculated and used to determine the proper level of child support. See the page “Family/spousal support” for more information about how support is calculated. Please contact us by phone or use the secure contact form below and our office will gladly assist you.
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