If you are in the midst of divorcing your former partner and you have children together, child custody is a topic that is bound to come up in discussion. Because there is a common perception of custody a battle that is tiresome and overwhelming, many do not want to talk about it until the last minute. However, this should not be the way child custody is handled, because it can be very stressful on your children. Often times, the parent that is living with the child receives sole custody. This means that the parent who only houses the child on certain days has what is called visitation rights. Child custody is divided into three parts: physical custody, legal custody, and physical and legal custody. These are two different concepts. Legal custody is given to the parent who will make the big decisions for the child, like where they will go to school, what health insurance they will receive, and what religious practice they will follow. Physical custody decides where the child will reside. Physical and legal custody is given to a parent, usually in the event the other parent has substance abuse problems or domestic abuse problems.
If a court gives you sole custody, this awards you all custody rights for your children. Usually this is an uncommon situation, as courts do not just give sole custody to one parent for no reason. As mentioned above, if there are substance abuse, domestic violence, or any other child abuse or neglect charges, sole custody is the best option for the courts. The courts will always be sure that they are making decisions in the best interest of the children or child, so dividing the time between parents is not always practical. When time is not evenly distributed, one parent is deemed as primary and the other as secondary. Fortunately, courts will do their best to ensure both parents play a role in the child’s life, unless a parent is imprisoned or in any other dire circumstance. In the event of sole custody, courts may award joint legal custody to each parent, and give the secondary parent a visitation schedule. Joint legal custody gives each parent the the right to make any major decisions in the child’s upbringing as a team, even if one of the parents is named as the primary parent.
Contact an Attorney
If you are considering divorcing your spouse and wish to share legal custody with them, you should first know that you will need to come to an agreement on choices regarding your child’s school choice, their religion, medical coverage and more. You should reach out to a child custody lawyer Phoenix AZ, and he or she can help you go over your options.
Thank you to Hildebrand Law for providing insight on the different child custody options available.