Let’s discuss the different types of child custody.
Legal custody means who makes the decisions about the children’s health, education and welfare. This includes deciding where the children go to school or whether they should get braces on their teeth. If the parents share joint legal custody, both parents can ask schools and doctors for information about the children. It is important to be clear about who makes which decisions so that there is no disagreement later on.
Physical custody refers to the time the children spend with each parent on a regular basis for child custody visitation. For example, the children may be with one parent on school days and the other on weekends plus a mid-week dinner visit. The parents can split the holidays and vacation periods. Sometimes, if the parents live near each other and they get along as parents, the children go back and forth without an exact schedule.
Most parents need a schedule. Joint physical custody is a good choice for parents who can agree on a child custody visitation plan on their own or with a mediator’s help. It requires cooperation, flexibility and good communication between the parents. Sometimes, a judge gives both parents joint legal custody but not joint physical custody. This means both parents have equal responsibility for important decisions in the children’s lives. But, the children live with one parent most of the time. The parent who does not have physical custody usually has scheduled time with the children.
Joint custody means you share custody with the other parent.
Joint legal custody is when both parents have equal rights and responsibilities for major decisions concerning the child, which include the education, religious training, counseling, health care, extracurricular activities, as well as where the child will live. The court may assign one parent to have sole power to make certain decisions and may give both parents equal rights and responsibilities for other decisions.
Joint physical custody is when custody is shared in a way that gives both parents frequent and substantial contact with the child, which doesn’t necessarily mean that the child spends half of the time with each parent. Instead, the child spends blocks of time with each of the parents as they share the right and responsibility to raise the child in their homes. Each parent has more than simple visitation privileges.