Types of Child Custody
Child custody is more than just one parent having custody of the child(ren). The custody of a child can be a complex issue and take on may different forms. From legal custody and physical custody, to sole custody and joint custody. All may entail a different scenario
Legal Custody of a child has to do with major life decisions in a child’s life. This can include the child’s education, medical care, and religious upbringing.
While typically both parents share joint legal custody of a child, it is possible for one parent to have sole legal custody if the court feels that one parent may not be suitable for legal custody. In that case, the parents would not have joint custody.
Physical Custody includes the daily routines of a child such as the everyday care as well as the living arrangement of the child. A parent with physical custody has the right to have their child live with them.
Usually one parent has sole physical custody, while the other parent gets visitation rights, but it is possible for the parents to share joint physical custody. Joint custody, in this case, would involve the child living with both parents.
Sole Custody is when one parent has full responsibility over the child, whether that be legal custody or physical custody. If a parent has sole physical custody, the child lives with that parent. The other parent, called the non-custodial parent, may have visitation rights with the child if the court believes it is necessary.
Sole Custody is usually awarded to one parent when the other is seen as unfit to provide care for the child, but it may also be awarded if it benefits both the parents and the child more. In this case, joint custody may not be possible.
Joint Custody is when both parents have an equal say in the upbringing of their child. In joint custody, both parents are custodial parents and neither parent is a non-custodial parent, the child has two custodial parents. This is also plainly called joint custody.
Joint Custody is common when it comes to Legal Custody, as both parents usually want a say in major life decisions in their child’s life. It is possible for both parents to have Joint Physical Custody. However, it is more common for the child to live with one parent while the other parent gets visitation rights. Joint custody can be arranged with help from a divorce attorney, if that’s what works best for your situation.