The term “sole custody” refers to one of California’s several types of child custody arrangements. A parent with “sole custody” may have sole physical custody, sole legal custody, or exclusive custody. Each type of custody arrangement has unique rights that attach to it.
If a parent has sole physical custody, he has exclusive physical custody of the child without having exclusive legal custody. This means that the parent with the sole physical custody has the right to have the child live with him/her, subject to the other parent’s visitation rights (if any). However, a custodial parent who only has sole physical custody is not entitled to make all the important decisions regarding the child.
On the other hand, a parent with sole legal custody is awarded exclusive rights and responsibilities regarding child care decisions relating to health, education, and welfare. However, unless sole physical custody is also granted, the parent does not have sole control over the child’s residence and supervision.
Exclusive custody is a combination of sole legal and sole physical custody. The parent with the exclusive custody has the right to make decisions regarding the child’s residence, health, education, and welfare. The non-custodial parent, however, may retain secondary visitation rights detailed by court order. In addition, an exclusive custody order does not terminate the other parent’s parental rights or due process interest in parenting. The parent without exclusive custody retains the right to seek and obtain custody modification based on a proper showing of changed circumstances.
Please contact our child custody attorneys at Lonich Patton Erlich Policastri for more information. Please remember that each individual situation is unique and results discussed in this post are not a guarantee of future results. While this post may include legal issues, it is not legal advice. Use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.