During a divorce, parents often fight over who the children will live with. However, with any Child custody and divorce case, parents need to recognize there is more than one type of custody. With this information, each parent can fight for what they feel is in the best interests of their children. A family law attorney can be of great help in determining what a parent should request when going to court, as no parent wishes to learn they have given up rights they thought they were retaining in the child custody agreement. What are the two main types of custody a parent should be aware of as the process moves forward?
When one thinks of child custody, they are wondering which parent the child will live with. This is referred to as physical custody and comes in one of two types. Shared or joint physical custody is a situation in which the child lives with each parent part of the time. For example, the child may reside with the mother during the week and spend weekends with the father along with every other week during the summer. Primary or sole physical custody is a situation in which the child lives with only one parent. The other parent gets visitation, which may be supervised by the court or another entity. However, sole physical custody is typically only granted in those situations where one parent has been determined to be unfit.
In contrast, legal custody is granted to the parent who will be tasked with making major decisions that affect the child. This parent decides which religion the child will be raised in, where they will attend school and the type of education the children will receive, as well as when and where the child will obtain medical care. As with physical custody, legal custody may be granted to one parent or both.
A parent who wishes to obtain physical and/or legal custody of their children should speak to a family law attorney. The attorney explains the best way to achieve this goal based on the unique circumstances of the family unit. In addition, the attorney makes certain the rights of the client are protected, such as when one parent files for sole physical custody with no basis for doing so. The one thing to remember is the courts always take the best interests of the children into consideration. Make certain you are doing the same as the process moves forward, as your children deserve only the best.