“Custody” may be broken down into the different types of child
custody which can be awarded in a custody suit. Physical custody is the
right for a parent’s child to live with them. It is often the case
that the court awards joint physical custody if the child spends considerable
time with both parents. Sole primary custody is usually awarded when the
child lives primarily with one parent and the other maintains visitation rights.
Legal custody refers to the right to at least contribute to the making
of significant decisions in the child’s life including their schooling,
religious upbringing, and medical care. You can be taken to court if you
are forced to share legal custody and try to exclude the other parent
from the decision-making process. You may be able to go to court and ask
for sole legal custody if you believe you and the other parent are unable
to make important decisions together but you will have to prove to the
judge that shared legal custody is not in the child’s best interests.
Sole & Joint Custody
While most courts favor as much influence for both parents as possible,
sole custody may be awarded without much hesitation by the court if one
of the parents is considered unfit due to an alcohol or drug dependency
or other reason. Even if the court does not award shared physical custody,
they can still award joint legal custody and offer significant visitation
Joint custody can be awarded if the parents are divorced, separated, or
no longer living together, even if they never lived together. Joint custody
has advantages in that the children are assured of continuing contact
and involvement of both parents and the onus of parenting is shared.
On the other hand, children will need to be shipped between parents for
several years in all likelihood. When there is noncooperation between
the parents or hostility towards one another, this can also negatively
affect the child.
If you are in the midst of a
custody battle, get CokerLegal for the advice you need to make the best decision
for you and your child.