WomensLaw is not just for women. We serve and support all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.
Important: Even if courts are closed, you can still file for a protection order and other emergency relief. See our FAQ on Courts and COVID-19.
Legal Information: California
What is custody?
When the court issues a custody order, it will address these two parts of custody:
Physical custody is the physical care and supervision of a child (under 18 years of age). In other words, it addresses who the child will live with on a day-to-day basis.
Legal custody is the right to make major decisions about your child, like where your child goes to school, what kind of health care s/he receives, or what kind of religious training s/he attends.1
1 See Ann.Cal.Fam.Code §§ 3002-3007
© 2008–2020 WomensLaw.org is a project of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, Inc. All rights reserved. This website is funded in part through a grant from the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Neither the U.S. Department of Justice nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse, this website (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided). NNEDV is a 501©(3) non-profit organization; EIN 52-1973408.