Temporary Custody: What You Need to Know

During divorce, child custody can be one of the most contentious issues you’ll face. You, as parents, both want what’s best for you children—but if you’re like many parents, you disagree on exactly what that is.

California Child Custody Overview

In the state of California, the law requires that divorcing couples who share children propose a custody arrangement. The state recognizes two types of custody: physical and legal.

Physical Custody

The term physical custody refers to where the child stays overnight. If your child spends five nights per week with you and two with your spouse, you’re sharing physical custody. Physical custody is different from visitation or parenting time; those terms refer to the time your child spends with each parent.

Legal Custody

The term legal custody refers to which parent has the authority to make major decisions for the child. Those decisions can include choices related to healthcare, religion, and education, as well as other important issues.

What is Temporary Custody in California?

If you believe that your child is in immediate danger, you can ask the court to issue a temporary custody order. The danger can be physical or psychological; you can also ask the court for a temporary custody order if your child is in danger of being removed from the state. The court may also, at this time, issue a child support order.

Permanent Child Custody

You have the right to work with your spouse to create a parenting plan that outlines child custody (both legal and physical). If you both agree to it, the Stockton judge assigned to your case will most likely approve it—although there are some exceptions, such as when the parenting plan is clearly unfair to the children.

Judges are tasked with the important responsibility of putting the children’s needs first. Yours (and your spouse’s) are secondary to what the kids need.

If the judge approves of your parenting plan, he or she will sign it; then it becomes a permanent court order. Naturally, if your (or your spouse’s) circumstances change, you can ask the court to change the order.

Will Temporary Custody Affect Your Permanent Custody Arrangement?

Depending on the reason that you asked the court to issue a temporary custody order, it could affect your permanent custody arrangement. If one parent is incarcerated, for example, or if one parent puts the children in harm’s way, the judge may take that into account when ordering permanent custody.

Talk to a Child Custody Lawyer Now About Temporary and Permanent Custody

Child custody is often one of the most difficult aspects of a divorce, and for many people, that signals a need to work with an experienced Stockton child custody attorney.

We may be able to help you if you need to file for temporary custody of your children during divorce.
Call us at 209-910-9865 for a free case review. We’ll evaluate your situation and give you case-specific legal advice so you can begin moving forward.