Legal Custody and Physical Custody

Legal Custody: awards a parent or both parents the right to make legal decisions for the child regarding education, health care, religion, and his or her general welfare.

Sole Legal Custody: when only one parent holds the right to make legal decisions for the child regarding education, health care, religion, and his or her general welfare.

Joint Legal Custody: when both parents hold the right to make legal decisions for the child regarding education, health care, religion, and his or her general welfare, without either parent having superior rights. The most common form of joint legal custody designates one parent as having primary residential (i.e., physical) custody.

Currently, in most states, the courts will favor joint legal custody in situations where the parents have the ability to cooperate with one another in terms of making decisions that are in "the best interest of the child." Many divorcing parents do work very hard towards achieving this goal. Joint custody is definitely not for everyone and can only come about as a result of rational decision-making process focused on the past roles and future expectations of the parents.

Physical Custody: defines and declares the child's residency.

Sole Physical Custody: when the child lives with one parent and the other has specific visitation rights.

Joint Physical Custody: when a child is able to reside with each parent for a substantial amount of time during the course of a calendar year. The arrangement does not have to be split 50-50, but it does require some consistent plan or schedule. This type of custody arrangement is not very common, for it is rare when this type of arrangement is found to be best for a child.

Provided by Divorcesource.com


Searching for more answers? Get personal advice from other women like you on the Divorce Support message boards:

Plus, mark your calendar for the LIVE Divorce Support Chat, every Thursday at 10pm ET.

Back to Divorce Main Page
Like this? Want more?
preview
FILED UNDER:
Connect with Us
Follow Our Pins

Yummy recipes, DIY projects, home decor, fashion and more curated by iVillage staffers.

Follow Our Tweets

The very dirty truth about fashion internships... DUN DUN @srslytheshow http://t.co/wfewf

On Instagram

Behind-the-scenes pics from iVillage.

Best of the Web