When a marriage has produced children, child custody is often the highest priority during divorce proceedings. While you’re preparing to meet with Antonyan Miranda, consider your goals for the child custody and visitation arrangement. Family law courts generally prefer child custody arrangements that provide the child with access to both parents, so long as one parent hasn’t been found to be an unfit parent. Your attorney can explain the likely outcome of your case and which factors may influence the Court's decision. Physical custody refers to the place of residence of the child. The Court typically awards joint physical custody, although sole physical custody may be awarded when the other parent has a documented history of criminal activity, child abuse or neglect, or substance abuse. As your attorney can explain to you, even when the Court awards joint physical custody, the child will typically live with one parent more than the other. This is largely a matter of practicality, as it enables the child to maintain a regular school schedule. Legal custody may be awarded to one parent or both parents. If sole legal custody is awarded, it is typically awarded to the parent who has primary physical custody of the child. Legal custody refers to the right and responsibility of a parent to make major decisions for the child’s upbringing. These decisions include matters pertaining to the child’s education, religion, extracurricular activities, vacations, travel, and healthcare, including mental healthcare. When parents share legal custody, they must be committed to working together for the sake of the child. They must also find a means of ongoing, civil communication. Visitation Making an agreement about child custody typically involves drawing up a visitation schedule or parenting time plan. This can apply to both joint and sole physical custody. The visitation plan should be specific to reduce the risk of future disagreements. It should explain exactly which parent the child will be with for which days of the week. It may also include details such as which parent will be responsible for dropping off and picking up the child.