When parents go through a divorce, one of the most emotional and difficult factors that they will have to address is the matter of custody. When it is time to address custody, parents are often nervous about the judge’s decision because it typically means that one parent won’t get to see the child every day as they once could. However, just because the parent does not get to see the child every day anymore doesn’t mean that they don’t have the opportunity to make decisions about the child’s life. This is where the distinction between physical versus legal custody comes into play.
Physical custody is simply the legal term that indicates which parent will spend more time with the parent. Typically, both parents have the opportunity to share custody unless one parent has been deemed unfit to parent by the court. In that case, one parent would have sole physical custody. Sometimes, there is a sole physical custody arrangement because the other parent lives too far away to realistically have custody.
The other type of custody is known as legal custody. When a parent is granted legal custody, they have the opportunity to make decisions based on the child’s life. These decisions can be regarding the child’s religion, schooling, healthcare, social life, extracurricular activities, and academics. Usually, when there is a shared physical custody agreement, there is also a shared legal custody agreement. However, when there is a sole physical custody agreement, there is also a sole legal custody agreement.
If you have questions about custody, contact our firm today.
If you require compassionate and knowledgeable legal guidance for a family law matter, please contact the experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley today.