Readers of this blog may know that there are two forms of custody that may affect parents’ rights and responsibilities to their children: legal custody and physical custody. While legal custody allows a parent to have a voice in the decision-making processes of raising their child, physical custody concerns a parent’s right to have their child live with them in their house. Many California parents share physical custody of their kids but, in some cases, sole physical custody is granted to one parent.

Sole physical custody is awarded when it serves the best interests of the child subject to the child custody order. For example, if a parent cannot be responsible for their child’s welfare while the child is with them, then sole custody may be appropriate. Instances that may render a parent unfit to care for their child could include medical conditions, addictions or incarceration.

Additionally, a parent may be granted sole physical custody of their child if the child’s other parent has exhibited violence or abuse toward others in their family. Children who have suffered at the hands of their parents are generally not put under the care of those individuals in child custody orders.

While all child custody cases are different, there are certain factors that may support a parent’s claim for sole physical custody of their child. However, because the law is always changing, and different cases will be built on different facts, it is imperative that readers of this post seek their own legal counsel.