The types of child custody that must be determined are physical and legal. Under family law, custody may be joint or sole for each, which may have different implications on your post-divorce life and the life of your child. Custody decisions should be made in the best interests of the child whether the decisions are made by the court or the parents.
Sole vs. Joint Custody
Before getting into the types of child custody – physical and legal – it may be helpful to discuss sole and joint custody arrangements. Sole custody refers to cases in which only one parent is granted the particular type of custody (physical and/or legal). Sole custody is usually only granted if the other parent is deemed unfit.
Parents can be deemed unfit because of:
- alcohol or drug abuse;
- criminal activities;
- child abuse; and
- neglect charges.
Joint custody refers to arrangements in which both parents share in the custody rights (physical and/or legal). This type of custody is common when both parents are deemed fit and responsible.
Physical vs. Legal Custody
Physical custody is a type of child custody that defines with whom the child will live. You can be granted joint or sole physical custody of a child. Joint physical custody means that the child would spend some time living with you and equal time living with your ex-spouse. Sole custody means that your child lives with you, but your ex may or may not have visitation rights allowing the child to stay with him or her on occasion.
According to family law, legal custody allows and obligates you to make decisions about the upbringing of your child.
Legal custody covers decisions about:
- religion; and
- medical care; and more.
Like physical custody, legal custody can be granted as sole (one parent is given rights to make these decisions) or joint custody (both parents share in the decision making process).
Child Custody in Court
If you are unsure which of these situations would be best for your child or you have more questions about fit and unfit parents, contact a family law attorney at Warren & Migliaccio Attorneys at Law for a free consultation of your Plano custody case. You may go over the different types of child custody or other family law concerns. Call us today at: 1-888-584-9614.