Any custody order will need to assign both physical and legal custody of the children.
It is very common that physical and legal custody are shared jointly by the parties. However, even if one party has sole physical custody, they are likely to share joint legal custody. Legal custody is that right that allows the parents to make all decisions regarding health, education and welfare of the children.
More specifically, it means that both parents will have a voice in decisions regarding education, medical care, psychological care, whether a child can get a driver license, signing up for a child’s passport, and most other serious issues regarding the children. While physical custody is usually spelled out in a parenting plan that sets forth the time each parent can expect to have physical custody of their children, judgments usually just state that the parties will share joint legal custody.
One last bit of information on the physical custody issue; recent case law states that if one parent has greater than 72% visitation, that parent has sole physical custody, no matter what the custody orders or judgment reads. A parent with sole physical custody has a presumed right to move the children, even out of the county for the state. Therefore, it is best that the lower timeshare parent have more than 28% visitation. If so, both parents are said to have joint physical custody, and there is no presumed right to move the children’s residence.
California is a community property state, which means the state presumes that all property, real property or personal property, is community property if it was obtained after the date of marriage and before the date of separation. The court has a duty to divide community property equally between the parties unless the parties have an agreement to divide it otherwise.
Community property includes money or value earned in the form of cash, furniture, boats and cars, pensions, stock options, retirement accounts, real estate, and all other types of property.
The reader should be aware that real estate can be considerably more complicated as a result of making payments on that real estate after you get married.