Child Custody

Child Custody 101 – The Different Types of Custody

This Child Custody 101 article was crafted for one thing – to help simplify a complex subject. By the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll have a better understanding of the terminology often used when referring to the subject. 

Legal Custody vs. Physical Custody

This is a big one, so let’s start with it. At a high level, there are two types of custody – legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the parent’s responsibility to make decisions regarding the child’s health, education and overall well-being. Physical custody is just like it sounds – it refers to who lives with the child. 

Within those two buckets are several types of custody. Here are the most common.

Sole Custody of a Child

This parent is solely responsible for the child. This means exclusive physical and legal custody. The parent without custody has limited access to the child. This is often called visitation. 

Note that visitation doesn’t mean the parent can only see the child on rare occasions. It just means they don’t have the right to make decisions regarding where the child lives or things like education or the primary physician. 

Joint Custody of a Child

Joint custody means both parents have rights and responsibilities to care for the child. The first thing that may come to mind is a 50/50 split. In reality that’s difficult for everyone, so usually the responsibilities and time spent with the child lean more towards one parent than the other. Ideally, the time would be split as evenly as possible, and both parents would participate in major decisions affecting the child. 

Click here to read more about child custody laws during the holiday season.

Alternating Custody

This is where the parents alternate taking care of the child. For example, it may be that the mother keeps the children for 5 days a week, and the father keeps them for the weekend. Or maybe they stay with one parent for 3 days, then go back to the other parent’s home for another 3 days. Every family has a different arrangement that works for them. What’s important is that it works for everyone and both parents are still involved in the child’s life. 

More Types of Custody

Most situations end up in one of the situations listed above. Here are a few others that sometimes occur. 

Bird’s Nest – This is where a child lives in the same home all the time and the parents move in and out. The benefit is more consistency for the child but can be hard on the parents. 

Serial – This is where a child lives with one parent for a certain period of time (Ex: until they’re a teenager) and then they move in with the other parent for a certain time increment. 

Third-party – If the courts determine the parents are unfit to care for the kids, they can grant custody to another family member such as an aunt, uncle, grandparent or older sibling. 

Split – This is usually seen as a last resort, as it is hard on the entire family. Split custody is where one parent takes some children, and the other parent takes the others. This is difficult because children benefit from being with their siblings. Even if their parents have joint or alternating custody and the children are constantly moving from one parent’s home to the other, at least they always have each other. Split custody removes that and makes things complex. 

Do you have a question about the different types of custody? Click here to contact Von Esch Law today!

How to Start a Business in California

How to Start a Business in California

Want to start a business in California? The good news is it’s not as complicated as you might think. People do it every single day. As long as you go through these steps, you’ll be set up and ready to go in no time. 

Here are the basic steps to complete:

Step 1: Pick a Legal Structure

The first decision you need to make is how you want your company to be legally structured. Here are the four main structures you’ll see for small businesses:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Limited Liability Corporation (LLC)
  • Corporation

Each structure has its pros and cons, but we highly recommend making either an LLC or a corporation. The biggest advantage they have is security. Your personal assets are protected from loss in case of a lawsuit against the company. If you have a partnership or sole proprietorship, a lawsuit against the business can also come after your own personal assets.

Step 2: Pick a Name

The most important thing here is to make sure you don’t pick a name that’s already been taken – especially by a company in your industry. You can do a business name search for what you’re thinking and see if anything pops up. If not, you’re probably in the clear. If something does come up, dig a little more to see if they might be a competitor or if they are in a very different industry. 

Once you pick your name, make sure you buy the appropriate Internet domain address to go along with your growing business. 

Step 3: Create Your Business Identity and Get Permits

Now that you know your name and business structure, it’s time to register your business. If you’re a partnership or sole proprietor, you don’t need to register your business. If you go the LLC or corporation route, you’ll need to submit an Article of Organization or Article of Incorporation respectively. 

Once you’ve done that, it’s time to go more local. Register your business with your local city and county so they have a record. If your industry requires and permits or licenses to do the work, get those ASAP before you start getting too many questions about it. 

Step 4: Pick Your Location

Now it’s time to start narrowing in on your business location. Will you have a standalone building? Use a vacant space in a strip mall? Or just do everything online?

There’s no right or wrong answer. The truth is you never know if a location will do well or not. That doesn’t mean you can’t research though. In fact, it should make you want to do more research to better understand the market. 

Step 5: Set up for Taxes

Taxes are handled a little differently for each of the business structures. We recommend going through this step with an accountant who is used to working with small businesses. They’ll make sure it’s done right and you aren’t setting yourself up to lose (too much!) money. 

These are the first steps to starting a business in California. Not too bad, right? The good news is it’s relatively simple. The bad news is that it takes a lot of time and effort. We are here to help. 

Have any questions about starting a business in California? Contact us today!

Courtesy of Cuselleration