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There are Two Types of Custody: Legal and Physical

Separation and divorce have a profound impact on families. The stress can be overwhelming as parents struggle to take care of their children's emotional and financial needs. Therefore, during a separation or divorce, you must be well informed about your options and well-educated in your choices toward achieving the custody arrangement you desire.

If you, the parents, can not agree on what is in the children's best interest, then the court is empowered to make those decisions.

There are two types of custody that the Courts will decide for you. Legal custody and Physical Custody.


Legal custody concerns a parent's rights to make decisions regarding a minor child's health, safety, education, and welfare. Joint legal custody means that the parents equally share those decision-making rights. Sole legal custody means that one parent has the right to make all the decisions.


Physical custody generally means where the child lives on a day-to-day basis. Both parents may be granted joint physical custody, but this does not mean that the children spend precisely 50% of their time with each parent. Spending equal time with each parent would disrupt the child's schooling and extra-circular activities and put additional strain on each parent's schedule. Even with joint physical custody, there is a custodial parent with whom the children will live.


There are many factors the court examines when deciding physical custody. The court will take several factors into account. However, the judge will make every decision based on the child's best interest. Some of these factors may include proximity to school, other activities, and friends, each parent's work schedule, and in some cases, the child's preference.

At Law Office James Chau, we are ready to help you with your child custody concerns during and after the separation and divorce. You deserve an attorney with the experience and attention to address your matter with the seriousness it deserves. Do not hesitate to set up your free 20-minute consultation to discuss how we can be of service to you in any of your child custody needs.​

The Law Office of James Chau, P.C., represents clients in San Jose, California, and all surrounding areas.

For more information and to schedule a personal consultation with the Law Offices of James Chau, P.C., don't hesitate to contact us online or call our San Jose, California office at (408) 899-8364.

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