Child custody involves two parts: physical and legal custody. A parent can receive either, both, or opt to do joint custody. Here is the difference between them.
If a parent is awarded physical custody, their child lives with them, and they decide with their ex-spouse on a visitation plan. A common plan with physical custody is for one parent to have the child during the week and every other weekend, while the other parent has the child every other weekend and maybe one other night per week. Some parents opt to say that their schedule is "liberal," meaning it can change. It is probably best, though, to decided on specific days so your child can have some stability in their life. With joint physical custody, which is the most common, children split the time with their parents 50/50.
Having the legal custody of a child means that you make all the decisions concerning the child, such as schooling, medical care, and housing. You don't have to take into consideration the other parents thoughts about the child's upbringing. Joint legal custody means that both parents decide what is best for the child. If one parent makes a decision without the other parent's knowledge, they will find themselves in contempt of court.
If you have questions about child support, click California Child Support Payments.