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What are the different types of child custody?

When navigating the often confusing world of child custody law, it can be difficult to know what type of custody you would like to file for, or what type of child custody you might be entitled to. However, it's not as confusing as it might seem once you understand the terms.

This blog will serve as a brief overview on the main types of child custody and what they mean.

Physical custody

Physical custody is the easiest form of child custody to understand. If you have been given physical custody over your child, it means that you have the right to live with him or her independently. This does not have to mean the same as sole custody -- only that the child can live with you for a significant period of time. Joint physical custody is also possible.

Legal custody

Legal custody means that this parent has the authority to make decisions on behalf of the child. This could be in regards to educational or medical decisions that the child is too young to make.

Sole custody

Sole custody is not an ideal situation from the view of the court, because the court will want to make sure that the child has a healthy relationship with both parents unless they present a danger or risk to their well-being. Sole custody means that the parent has full legal and physical custody of the child, and the other parent has no legal rights or any child custody whatsoever.

Dealing with child custody negotiations can be complex and difficult to navigate. It is important to conduct full research about the consequences of child custody filings.

Source: Findlaw, "The various types of child custody," accessed Aug. 10, 2017

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