How are physical custody and legal custody different?

Once couples decide to get a divorce, the process has just started. They have many decisions to make during the process. One of these choices is focused on the children in the family. Child custody arrangements must be made to fit the separated lives of the spouses. These decisions can be difficult since it involves a parent’s most prized possession, their children. With these cases, they can vary greatly depending on each situation. Many factors should be taken into account when deciding on the arrangement.

Physical custody of a child names one parent as the custodial parent. With this role, the parent will be the one that the child resides with most of the time. The child may have access to their other parent and stay at their home sometimes. However, their custodial parent is the one that they will see more often.

Legal custody gives a parent the ability to make major decisions in the child’s life. This includes any practiced religion, their education, medical decisions and more. Although a parent may not be the custodial parent, they are still able to acquire legal custody. By acquiring legal custody, they can still be just as involved as the custodial parent since they can make decisions regarding the child’s life.

How is child support involved?

Child support and child custody decisions are both decided on during mediation or in court. If a parent is named as the custodial parent, they may be able to acquire child support since they provide for the child’s needs on a daily basis. In order to decide child support, many factors are involved. The parents’ incomes are examined to see how much they can provide for the child. The child’s current standard of living is also taken into account. When one parent is more involved in the child’s life, they may be entitled to child support due to the amount they provide for the child on a daily basis. As the custodial parent, they put a roof over the child’s head, meals on the table every day and much more. This is considered when deciding how child support payments should be made and how much money is involved.

If you require compassionate and knowledgeable legal guidance for a matter of divorce, family or estate law, please contact the experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley today. Our firm proudly serves clients in Mansfield, Massachusetts and throughout Bristol County.