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Child Custody

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Under the common statutory provision, at the time of divorce, if the spouses have children together while married, the parents have joint guardianship over that child. Thus, the rights are equal for both parents and have equal rights for the child’s custody when they separate.

Court Strives

The court strives to a decision in which it concerns about “the best interests of the child” when determining about the home in which to place the child.

Before making the decision making of “the best interests of the child,” the wishes of the child’s parents, the wishes of the child, and the child’s relationship with each of the parents, siblings, other persons who may substantially impact the child’s best interests, the child’s comfort in his home, school, and community, and the mental and physical health of the involved individuals are taken into consideration.

With custody of the child, the parent solely controls the decisions regarding the child’s education, religious upbringing, and health care.

Courts have the option of choosing one of several types of custody.

To understand better your child custody and visitation options, you’ll need to become familiar with the terminology used by legal experts.

In particular, it’s essential to understand the difference between Legal Custody and Physical Custody.

– Legal Custody

Legal custody gives the parent the legal authority to make significant decisions on behalf of the child. Legal custody options include:

  • Sole Legal Custody:

The sole legal custody granted by the court to a parent gives them the legal authority to make significant decisions on behalf of the child.

These include decisions regarding education, religion, and health care.

  • Joint Legal Custody:

In Joint legal custody, it gives the parent’s rights or the legal authority to make major decisions for the child. It should also note that parents can potentially share “joint legal custody” without having “joint physical custody.”

– Physical Custody

Physical custody refers to where the children live the majority of the time.

Physical custody also refers to as “residential custody.”

Types of physical custody include:

  • Sole Physical Custody:

In this custody, the child physically resides at one location with a parent, and in most cases, visitation rights are granted to the non-custodial parent, including sleepovers.

  • Joint Physical Custody:

It is also called “Shared Custody,” “Shared Parenting,” or “Dual Residence.”

In this, the children live with one parent for a week or a part of the year and live with the other parent during the remaining time.

The division of time spent at each location is approximately equal.

  • Bird’s Nest Custody:

The children live in one location, and the parents rotate in and out of the children’s homes on a regular schedule.

For example, mom may reside at the children’s home from Monday evening till Thursday morning, and Dad may live there from Thursday evening till Monday morning.

Important: The articles available on are neither legal advice nor a replacement for an attorney. The contents are general information and guidance concerning different legal issues. We make sure that these articles prove helpful to you, but we do not promise or guarantee that they are suitable for your condition. We also do not take responsibility for any loss that might cause to you using these articles. Hence, we strictly suggest you get expert legal advice. Consult or hire an attorney in case of any doubt.