Child custody is one of the issues you need to settle during divorce. When both parents seem to be fit (or not), it becomes more complicated. In the end, it is the child’s best interest that would prevail. Before the court decides who gets the custody, it is important to have a clear understanding of its different types.
Types of Child Custody
- Physical Custody – A court-ordered decision gives a parent the right to live with their child under one roof. This does not necessarily mean, though, that that the same parent should be the primary decision-maker when it comes to the child’s welfare. In a sole physical custody, the non-custodial parent only has enough visitation rights as ordered by the court.
- Legal Custody – The parent who gets legal custody will be the primary decision-maker when it comes to the child’s education, healthcare, and upbringing. Under a sole legal custody, the parent has the right to make a decision without having to consult or inform the other spouse. In some cases, a joint legal custody is ordered by the court. However, child custody lawyers in Albuquerque advise that a parent should inform the court when the other spouse violates the joint custody arrangement.
- Joint Custody – This is possible if the court sees the circumstances fit. For example, if the distance between the houses of the parents is relatively near and both spouses are not involved in issues relating to drugs, abuse, or violence.
Sole Custody vs. Joint Custody
In some cases, when the court sees both parents fit, it orders a joint legal and physical custody. This gives both parents equal rights on physical contact and decision-making. This means that both parents should agree before the court makes a decision. On the other hand, the court gives the sole legal and physical custody to only one parent whom the court sees fit. The custodial parent lives with the child and is the primary decision-maker. Then again, the non-custodial parent will have enough visitation rights. Knowing the different types of custody should make it easier for parents to know what their rights are relating to the child’s welfare. As the law on child custody is intricate and sensitive, you should always seek help from a child custody lawyer in your state.