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Types of Child Custody

Posted by Charles E. Barnabi | Mar 08, 2017 | 0 Comments

When you and your spouse choose to get a divorce and have children from your marriage, you will be required to create a parenting plan which will guide how you will continue to raise your child together while no longer married. One of the most important provisions of your parenting plan is what kind of child custody you will receive. In order to understand what kind of child custody will work best for you and your family, let's take a closer look at the different types of child custody and how they can impact your family going forward.


Physical custody is the actual responsibility for a child by physically having them in your care and possession. Physical custody is the ability to have a child live with you, which means all of the responsibilities for their care are also yours while they are there. The parent with physical custody of a child at any given time is said to have “visitation” with them, and the ability to see the child is known as “visitation rights.”


Legal custody is the ability to make decisions about a child's upbringing. A parent with legal custody will have the ability to decide how a child is raised religiously, where they will attend school, what activities they will be allowed to participate in, and more based on the premise that the decision will be in the child's best interests.


For both primary types of custody, the court will award you either joint or sole custody. Joint custody is when both parents share a type of custody. In joint physical custody, a child will spend time with both parents (such as living weekdays with one parent so they can attend a particular school and then weekends with the other). Joint physical custody is common, and can be set up to fit your needs as parents exactly.

On the other hand, sole custody is when one parent exclusively is granted a type of custody. In sole physical custody, a child lives the vast majority of the time with one parent, and only sees the other in agreed-upon terms, possibly with the presence of a monitor or supervisor. Sole legal custody means one parent makes all decisions on a child's upbringing, with the other having little to no say in the issues. Courts are often hesitant to award sole custody in modern cases, as they try to keep both parents involved in the lives of their children as much as possible, provided that the contact and visitation with both parents is beneficial to their upbringing.

If you and your spouse are considering a divorce, get help with child custody and more from a Henderson divorce attorney. McDonald Law Offices, PLLC takes pride in helping their clients through all major legal issues with the belief that everyone deserves an exceptional experience. We recognize the stress and turmoil that a divorce can bring, and we strive to help you navigate through your case quickly and in a way that makes you satisfied with the results. We never treat our clients like another case number; your issue is as important to us as it is to you, and we provide compassionate and reputable counsel all throughout the process.

Get started with your case now! Call McDonald Law Offices today to schedule your case evaluation.

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