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What you need to know about child custody arrangements

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2024 | Family Law

You’re a parent going through a divorce. This may not be what you want, but it may be the best thing for your children. During the divorce process, you may have the option to discuss a child custody arrangement, which allows you the right and responsibility to raise your children. 

Before you learn about child custody arrangements, it may be best to learn about the different types of custody. Here’s what you should know:

What is legal and physical custody?

There are two parts to child custody: legal and physical custody. A parent with legal custody is given the right to decide how their child is raised. This means that the parent can have their children go through public, private or homeschool, for example. Or, they may attend their child’s doctor’s appointments and decide if their child should be given medication. A parent may even decide if their child has a religious upbringing. 

A parent with physical custody has the responsibility to maintain their child’s daily routine. The parent would likely need to take their child to school regularly, for instance. This includes providing clothing, food and shelter to their child.

What is joint and sole custody?

A parent has legal and/or physical custody depending on the type of custody arrangement. A custody arrangement can give a parent joint or sole custody. When a parent has joint custody, they work with the child’s other parent to make any legal decisions. They may also have to work out a daily schedule so that each parent has some physical custody. In other words, a child will likely go to each of their parent’s homes depending on what day of the week a parent has physical custody. 

A parent with sole custody makes all physical and legal custody decisions without the other parent’s input. Sometimes when one parent has sole custody, the other is given visitation times.

When going through a divorce, it’s often important for parents to learn about their legal options when it comes to their children.