Child custody is typically on the mind of every divorcing parent. Because of the importance of child custody to the child, parents and family, it is helpful for divorcing couples to be familiar with the different child custody options available.
Child custody options
There are two types of child custody that need to be determined including:
- Physical custody – physical custody of the child refers to who the child will live with. The custodial parent is the parent that typically cares for the daily needs of the child.
- Legal custody – legal custody of the child refers to which parent makes important decisions for the child. Decisions concerning the child’s healthcare, education and religious upbringing can all be considered important decisions.
Each of the two different types of custody can be sole custody or joint custody.
- Sole custody: sole custody refers to when one parent has custody for the child. If the parent has sole physical custody, the child will only live with that parent. If the parent has sole legal custody, the parent will be the only parent making important decisions for the child.
- Joint custody: joint custody refers to when the parents share custody of the child. In joint physical custody situations, the child lives with both parents according to the child custody and parenting agreement. Additionally, if the parents share joint legal custody of the child, the parents will have to work together to make decisions regarding the child’s medical care, schooling and religion.
It is helpful for parents concerned about child custody to be familiar with child custody options and the basics of child custody. Understanding the child custody process is useful information that can help guide parents to a child custody arrangement that is best for the child and their family.