The court will only make custody orders if parents cannot agree to a parenting plan on their own. Both Santa Clara and San Mateo County provide ample opportunity for you and your co-parent to reach a settlement.
If you cannot reach an agreement, the court will make custody decisions based on what is best for the children involved. There is no legal preference for a fifty-fifty custody schedule, or joint custody, or any other type of plan.
Parenting time is what most people mean by “getting custody.” Parenting time is what determines how much time you spend with your child. There are many phrases for parenting time: parenting plan, visitation schedule, parenting schedule, and custody schedule.
Most of our clients walk in the door assuming that physical custody is the same thing as parenting time. But they are not the same thing, although they are related. Parenting time is what percentage of time each parent spends with the children. Physical custody refers to where the child will live.
In my experience, most parents are not thinking of legal custody when they explain that they want custody of their children. I suspect that most people assume that they will always have the authority to make decisions about where their children attend school, what kinds of medical treatment they receive, and where they live. But you do not have the authority to make these decisions just because you are a parent to your children.