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What you should know about child custody

On Behalf of | May 23, 2024 | Divorce

When parents divorce, a large part of the divorce process is planning out child custody. Many divorcing parents want to continue to be involved in their children’s lives by providing for their needs and deciding how they should be raised. A child custody arrangement can help decide each parent’s role in their children’s lives. The arrangement takes into consideration a child’s needs and how each parent can provide them without conflicting with each other.

There are several terms to understand that can help parents create a child custody arrangement:

  • Custody type
  • Parental responsibility

If you are heading for a divorce, then it is likely important for you to learn everything you can about child custody. Here is what you should know: 

What is legal and physical custody?

There are two types of custody: legal and physical. Legal custody is a parent’s authority to make decisions for their children. This can include where a child will be educated, how their health is managed, how they are disciplined and if they receive a religious upbringing. Physical custody decides which parent is responsible for caring for their child and where the child lives.  

What are sole and joint custody?

Parental responsibility is often decided through parenting arrangements. A common kind of parenting arrangement is joint custody. Joint custody means parents share the responsibilities of legal and physical custody. Parents can plan out what they are obligated to provide their children and how often they spend time with their children through a custody schedule.

However, if it is believed that one parent should be entirely responsible for a child, the parent may be given sole custody. Sole custody means that a child stays with one parent who is obligated to provide their children with all of their needs, and the other parent may have some or no visitation rights. 

To learn more about child custody, you can reach out for legal help to discuss your options and rights in greater detail.