Who Gets Custody Of Child After Divorce

There are a variety of custody arrangements that a court can proscribe for a family after a divorce. There are four types of custody of children that are typically recognized by the laws of the state. They include:

Joint legal custody. This means that both of the parents have all of the rights and responsibilities related to their child. This includes areas such as education, health, and general well-being. In most states, joint legal custody is assumed to be the best arrangement for the children. Joint legal custody requires the divorcing parents to be able to work together for the benefit of the children. It also requires the parents to present a specific plan to the court about how this custody will work.

Sole legal custody. When only one parent retains the rights and responsibilities related to the child, this is referred to as sole legal custody. This is the most common type of custody when there is a divorce. In this situation, the non-custodial parent may still retain visitation rights, but has little other rights in regard to the child or children.

Sole physical custody. The other two types of custody have to do with physical custody, or how the child actually has contact with parents. When one parent only has the majority of the contact with a child, and the child lives exclusively with that parent, this is called sole physical custody. In this situation, the court can still grant visitation rights to the non-custodial parent.

Joint physical custody. When there is joint physical custody, both parents have large amounts of physical contact with the child. Both parents will likely see the child on a daily basis, or at least on an equal basis. For a family where the child stays in a home in which the parents rotate in and out would be an example of joint physical custody, as would a situation in which a child stays with each parent for six months out of a year.


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