If you are separated with your partner or you are planning to file for divorce, deciding child custody will be one of the issues that you will have to deal with during the divorce process. In some cases, child custody is usually decided by both parents with no input from the courts or a child custody law firm. However, there are special occasions where both parents may fail to agree, a factor that may force the court to intervene. Understanding different types of child custody can help you make an informed decision on which option to choose. In this article, we are going to focus on different types of child custody available.
- Joint custody
Joint custody is the scenario where both parents have agreed to jointly make any important decisions that affects the child. In joint custody, one parent cannot just sit down and make a vital decision without consulting and agreeing with the other partner. If they disagree, they must find a way to resolve it. Courts usually avoid giving joint custody to parents who are not able to make even a simple decision together. This is because joint custody actually works best when both parents share similar ideas when it comes to raising their kids. It requires a lot of cooperation and compromise for the sake of the kid. Sometimes both parents can divide the task to make things easier. For instance, one parent can make medical decisions while the other can make educational decisions.
- Sole custody
Sole custody gives one parent the powers to make all important decisions about the child even if the other parent disagrees. Sometimes parents with sole custody usually consult the other parent before making important decisions, but the bottom line remains that the final decisions are made by the parent who has the custody of the child. In most cases, parents with sole custody are those that are not in good terms with their ex-partner or one of the parents is not willing to cooperate. Most people usually assume that if a parent dies, then the other automatically get custody but that is not always the case. A parent with sole custody can actually choose who he/she wishes to get custody of the child for the first 90 days after his/her own death. The person they choose or anyone else can then choose to apply to have custody of the child after that.
- Legal custody
A parent who has legal custody actually has the right to make all important decisions regarding a child needs. This includes decisions on matters such as education, health care, and religion without consulting the other parent. In most states, the court usually awards joint legal custody to allow both parents to have legal rights over their child.
- Physical custody
Physical custody means that the parent has the right to live with the child. Sometimes the court can award joint physical custody when the child spends a lot of time with both parents. Joint physical custody usually works best when both parents live relatively close to each other.