sole physical custody

One might assume that with the word sole included, one parent is with the kids 100% of the time. This, however, is not always the case. Sole physical custody simply means that one parent has the child or children most of the time and the other parent have designated visitation time. This can range from a 60/40 split parenting time to 100/0.

As stated in Family Code 3007, “‘Sole physical custody’ means that a child shall reside with and be under the supervision of one parent, subject to the power of the court to order visitation.”

Now does this mean that the parent with sole custody can take the kids and leave the state suddenly or cancel visitations of the other parent? Absolutely not. Family Code 7501 states, “(a) A parent entitled to the custody of a child has a right to change the residence of the child, subject to the power of the court to restrain a removal that would prejudice the rights or welfare of the child.”

The sole custodial parent may also claim their children as a dependent or claim a child tax credit whereas the other parent might not be able to.