toddler-439112_640Couples with children who go through a divorce will have a specific arrangement for custody. Spouses who have children when married will share equal parental rights and joint guardianship. If a separation occurs, then each parent has an equal right to custody. The court will determine the proper home where a child will reside. This decision will be made by considering “the best interests of the child” and other factors, such as parent relationships, child wishes, and the wishes of the parents. The court will need to decide on the type of child custody to assign,

Physical Custody

This is a form of custody where a child lives exclusively with one parent. However, courts may decide that joint physical custody is warranted. This is generally an option when the parents of the child are in close proximity. The parent that does not have physical custody of their child will generally be granted visitation rights.

Legal Custody

The parent who has legal custody of a child is responsible for making parental decisions about how the child is raised. This includes the choices for schooling, religion, and medical care. Courts will typically assign joint legal custody to spouses who separate or divorce. This means the parents of a child need to make joint decisions concerning the upbringing of a child.

Sole Custody

A parent of a child can be awarded sole physical custody or sole legal custody. A judge may decide one parent is unfit and award sole physical custody to the other parent. However, the role of both parents is seen as being beneficial to the upbringing of a child. This means a non-custodial parent will often have a visitation schedule that is generous and is the reason joint legal custody is awarded. Both parents make joint decisions for their child’s upbringing.

Joint Custody

Parents will often have joint custody of a child when they do not live together. This is also referred to a shared custody arrangement. The parents will share responsibilities for decision making, One aspect of joint custody is, it may be in the form of joint legal custody, joint physical custody, and joint legal and physical custody.

The custody arrangement for parents will be determined by the court. The most common option often will be a joint custody arrangement. This means working out a schedule which includes taking into account the needs of the child, housing arrangements, and work requirements. The court will impose a schedule for the parents if one cannot be agreed upon.

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