One of the most contentious issues in a divorce is which spouse will get to keep the children and get the rights for making their life decisions. Most parents have a general idea about this legal issue, but don’t know about the different types of child custody. It is essential for parents or guardians to have this knowledge so that they are able to find a better, more workable solution for the parenting agreement, which may save a lot of time, energy, stress, and money.
The Types of Child Custody
1. Physical Custody
This is the type of custody in which the child lives with one parent and the non-custodial parent is given visitation rights. Depending on the circumstances, the court may award joint physical custody, allowing the child to spend an equal amount of time with both parents. However, for this arrangement to work out, the ex-spouses may have to live within the same county or city. Moreover, they need to have an amicable relationship for joint physical custody to avoid conflict.
2. Legal Custody
If a parent is given legal custody of the child, they will have the right to make all the decisions pertaining to their child’s needs. The custodial parent won’t be obligated to consult the non-custodial parent when making important decisions regarding healthcare, education, and religion. The court may award joint legal custody to both parents, giving each ex-spouse the right to participate equally when making decisions for their child. One drawback of legal custody is the high chance of conflict between the ex-spouses regarding their individual upbringing philosophies, as this may have a negative effect on the child.
3. Joint Custody
As the name suggests, this type of custody allows both parents to share decision-making responsibilities, and can be awarded as either joint physical custody or joint legal custody, or both. The court may order the parents to make adjustments to their schedules in order to make the arrangement work. However, non-cooperation and being shuttled around between the parents can have devastating effects on the child.
4. Sole Custody
In this type of child custody, the court gives either sole physical custody or sole legal custody or both to a single parent. Because sole custody may lead to disconnection or animosity towards the non-custodial parent, it is rarely enforced to strike a balance and ensure healthy upbringing of the child. Mostly, sole custody is given under circumstances where the other parent is unfit and proved to be a bad influence on the child.
Child custody matters put a lot of emotional stress on both parents, making it quite difficult to reach a common ground for the parenting agreement. It is best for you to have an experienced divorce attorney by your side to provide reliable legal counsel for ensuring a safe and bright future for your children after divorce. If have questions regarding child custody and other divorce matters, contact Casement Group, P.C. today at (847) 888-9300 for a free consultation and discuss your case.