What is physical custody?

For child custody arrangements, there will be decisions on physical custody and legal custody. When a parent is granted physical custody, they are known as the custodial parent. This means that the child will live with them most of the time. The child will reside in their home and spend the most frequent time there. Depending on the specifics of the situation, the child may also spend time staying with their other parent. The parenting time that an individual is allowed varies by case. Each situation presents different circumstances that are considered to provide for the best interests of the child.

What is legal custody?

Parents who are granted legal custody of their child are still involved in their life. Through legal custody, parents are able to make important decisions for the child. These decisions can relate to the child’s education, health, religion and more. Although parents may not be granted with physical custody of a child, they can still be given legal custody. This may not allow them the physical bonding time they want with their child, but it can keep them involved in their life.

Can custody arrangements be changed?

When child custody arrangements are made, the current situation can only be considered. The future is unknown. That is why custody arrangements can be modified. There are a variety of situations that can cause a change in custody agreements. If a parent is not following the right custody arrangement, the opposing parent can file a motion with the court to fix the situation.

Other circumstances may be present in the child’s life. If the child is behaving negatively and showing signs of aggression, a parent may attribute it to their time spent with the other parent. They have the right to file a motion with the court and an investigation can be made to determine if changes need to be made. Judges can consider all the factors to make the best decision for the child.

How are custody arrangements made?

Custody arrangements are made during divorce proceedings. Spouses may decide to undergo mediation where they will decide on the matter. Other cases show that the individuals need a judge to decide on the arrangement. When the judge decides on the custody of a child, it is not taken lightly. They take into account all aspects that contribute to the child’s overall well-being to make a decision that best fits the child’s needs.

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.