Legal Custody versus Physical Custody
Parents who share custody of their children can have Joint Legal Custody, Joint Physical Custody, Sole Legal Custody adn Sole Physical Custody. The Superior Courts of California, through the Family Code have a mandate to award Joint Legal Custody and Joint Physical custody, unless there is a reason not to, such as one parent being a habitual drug offender or there is a history of domestic violence or domestic abuse in the household.
Legal custody is the right of a parent to know how their child is doing in school and what medical care they are receiving.
Physical custody is the right to have your child with you, they can sleep at your home or go on trips with you.
Sole Legal custody is awarded in cases where the parties cannot get along, or where there is a history of spousal or child abuse.
Sole Physical custody is awarded to one parent in cases where the other parent has a history of drug or alcohol abuse, child abuse or spousal abuse, domestic violence or there is a history of mental illness.
Legal custody vs Physical custody is only one question, the bigger question is Joint custody versus Sole custody.