Many parents divorce. Part of the divorce process is deciding on child custody. Child custody is typically split between legal and physical custody. Legal and physical custody determines each parent’s responsibilities and obligations toward their children.
Legal custody is a parent’s right to decide what’s best for their children’s upbringing. For example, a parent may decide whether their children attend private or public school, join sports or acting, undergo surgery or have a religious upbringing. Physical custody is a parent’s responsibility to maintain their children’s daily routine, including providing food, shelter and clothing.
Legal and physical custody are often determined by the child custody arrangement. Here’s what you should know about the different kinds of child custody arrangements:
What is joint custody?
Parents may share custody in a joint custody arrangement. This allows both parents to be involved in their children’s lives and decide how they should be raised. Parents are also given certain times and days when they will care for their children, which often works around each parent’s work and school schedules.
Joint custody also means that parents will likely need to work together and communicate often about their and their children’s needs. This can include rescheduling days when a parent has their children or planning holidays and vacations.
What is sole custody?
Joint custody doesn’t work for everyone. A parent may be unfit to care for their children. As a result, one parent may have sole custody. Sole custody means that that parent has full legal and physical custody. The other parent may be given some visitation hours or have no involvement in their children’s lives.
Knowing what’s best for your children’s future is hard. You may need to learn more about your legal options.