Outlined below you will find the differences between various forms of child custody including; legal custody, physical custody, sole custody, and joint custody.
Physical custody is when a parent has the legal right to have a child live with him or her.Generally the parent with whom the child lives with primarily has sole physical custody, and the other parent has visitation rights.
Legal custody means the parent has the right and obligation to make decisions regarding a child’s upbringing. A parent that has legal custody can make decisions about schooling, religion, and medical care, etc.
A parent can have either sole legal custody or sole physical custody of a child. If one parent Is deemed unfit because of alcohol or drug dependency, a new partner who is unfit, or charges of neglect or abuse the courts usually don’t hesitate about awarding sole physical custody to the other parent.
But most courts are moving away from the practice of awarding sole custody to one parent in an attempt to enlarge and improve the role a divorced father plays in his children’s lives. Even in cases where courts do award sole physical custody, often the parties still share joint legal custody. One parent is determined to be the primary physical caretaker. The noncustodial parent has a generous visitation schedule in this situation, as well as the ability to be involved in joint decisions about the child’s upbringing. It’s advised that you do not to seek sole custody unless the other parent causes direct harm to the children.
Parents not living together have joint or shared custody,when the decision-making responsibilities for, and/or physical control and custody of, their children is shared. Joint custody can be awarded if the parents are divorced, separated, or no longer cohabiting, or even if they never lived together. Joint custody can be in these forms:joint legal custody, joint physical custody, or joint legal and physical custody.It’s common that couples who share physical custody also share legal custody, but is not necessarily the case the other way around.