Getting A Divorce? Different Forms Of Custody

Getting a divorce can be a harrowing experience, not just for you and your former spouse, but for any children that are involved in this process as well. One of the biggest problems for couples undergoing a divorce is that they cannot amicably decide on the issues of custody; oftentimes, the court must decide for such couples. There are several types of custody that may be decided for your and your spouse. Throughout the course of this brief article, you will learn about a few of those different types of custody.

Physical Custody

Physical custody simply means that a child has a right to live with one of their parents (or both, as you will see). If the child generally spends an equal amount of time with either parent, then the court will often times grant the child joint physical custody.

This type of custody works the best if the parents in question live near one another, as this will allow for the child to maintain a rather regular routine and will cause them less stress in the long run. In cases where one parent is given physical custody of the child, the other parent in question will generally have visitation rights. The primary parent is considered the custodian in these cases.

Legal Custody

Legal custody is similar to physical custody, but it also means that you have the right to make decisions about the child's life and their upbringing in general. Like physical custody, parents can be awarded joint legal custody, in which case decisions about the child's life must be shared by both parents.

If one parent willfully excludes the other parent from such decisions, the excluded parent can take the other parent back to court, in which case, depending on the severity and importance of the decision or decisions in question, the plaintiff can be awarded sole custody of the child.

Also, if you believe there are extenuating circumstances that do not allow or will not make room for joint legal custody, you can also take your spouse to court in an attempt to receive sole legal custody of your child. If both parents believe that one another is a capable parent, it is often prudent for both of them to agree to have joint legal custody, in order to cut down on stress (on both the child's behalf and the parents'), as well as court costs.

Sole Custody & Joint Custody

In the 1980s, courts started to choose joint custody in most cases, rather than awarding sole custody to a solitary parent, unless one parent had proven to be an unfit parent to the child or children in question.

Even in cases where there is sole physical custody of the child in question, you have to take into consideration that the other parent's right to see the child is generally still respected, as the non-custodial parent has visitation rights.

The court generally allows joint custody arrangements to be worked out by the parents themselves, unless they cannot come to an amicable resolution.

When it comes to divorce, there are a wide range of forms of custody. Hopefully, this brief article has given you some idea of what you and your child or children can come to expect from this experience. Read more information on custody options and hire a family law attorney to help you put your child or children in the best situation possible.