Types of Child Custody
“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 schedules.
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 Coker, Robb & Cannon, Family Lawyers for the advice you need to make the best decision for you and your child.