California breaks down custody into two types: Legal and Physical. Usually, the Court will order Joint Legal custody of the minor children as well as Joint Physical custody (but one party usually is awarded primary physical custody).

Legal custody gives the parents equal rights and access to the children’s school and medical records, as well as equal decision making rights as to the children’s schooling, extra-curricular activities and all medical decisions.

Physical custody dictates who will have the children during a specific time period. This can be called visitation or parenting time. Usually one parent is given the "primary" physical custody of the children.

California Courts encourage family relationships with the children and each parent. Usually the Courts attempt to give each parent substantial parenting time with their children.