Divorce – Understanding Child Joint and Legal Custody Laws

Both parties are given the right to make decisions about the child’s life and well-being. Joint physical custody is a bit more uncommon and involves the child living with both parents for an equal amount of time.

Fighting over child custody often requires the legal assistance of an experienced lawyer. There are various kinds of arrangements for custody and parents will need to decide which is the best fit for both parties. Assistance in these legal areas is really important with all the new laws and procedures causing confusion for either party. This is not mentioning the emotional toll that divorce takes on not only the two partners, but their children as well.

Legal custody and physical custody are the kind of custody’s that need to be solved between divorcing couples. It is important to understand the difference between joint and sole custody. Physical custody refers to who the child will live with permanently. Legal custody refers to making decisions about the child’s life such as healthcare, education, religion, etc.

Joint custody means that both parents share custody. Joint legal custody is common, as both parties are given the right to make decisions about the child’s life and well-being. Joint physical custody is a bit more uncommon and involves the child living with both parents for an equal amount of time each week or each month.

In sole legal custody, only one parent retains the right to make decisions about the child’s life and well-being. This is uncommon, although in cases in which one parent is deemed unfit to care for or make decisions for the child, sole legal custody may be granted to the other parent.

Sole physical custody is more common than joint physical custody. This is when the child lives permanently with only one parent, but the non-custodial parent is granted visitation rights. Of course, in cases in which the non-custodial parent is considered to be harmful to the child or it is decided that it is in the child’s best interest not to have contact with the non-custodial parent, visitation may be prohibited.

A child custody attorney is the most desired resource for more information about physical and legal custody and which types (joint or sole) are best for your specific case. Child support is another problem that should be discussed with an attorney. This is often a very serious matter, especially in cases in which the non-custodial parent does not make their payments. In situation like these, legal measures such as salary garnishments and suspension of driver’s license may be taken to force payment or as a penalty.