Who’s going to care for your child? Will your child go to the same school? Will you still get to see your child? These are the many questions parents ask when going through a divorce.
Divorce can be scary, not just for you but for your child, as well. There’s a lot of unpredictability when making child custody arrangements. Knowing all of your legal options when planning out a custody order before talking to your child’s other parent may help you and your child.
Here’s what you should know:
#1 Physical custody
The first question many parents have is who will the child live with. The parent awarded physical custody typically has their child living with them and is responsible for providing their basic needs. However, the other parent may be given visitation rights, allowing them to see their child every couple of days on holidays or vacations.
#2 Legal custody
Physical custody doesn’t exactly mean the parent makes all of the decisions for how their cold is raised. A parent with legal custody will decide where their child goes to school, if they have a religious upbringing, their medical decisions and dietary restrictions, for example. These are all the long-term decisions that determine a child’s welfare.
#3 Joint custody
It’s unusual for one parent to earn physical custody and the other parent to earn legal custody of their child – otherwise, there could be lots of arguments. Instead, parents who can work together to raise their child, while still living under separate roofs, may have joint legal and physical custody. What this means is that both parents can come to an agreement when their child sees each of them and matters about their upbringing. The court usually sees this as the best option when considering the best interest of a child.
#4 Sole custody
If parents can’t set aside their differences and one parent is deemed unfit to raise their child then the other parent may have sole custody of their child. This means that one parent makes both physical and legal decisions when it comes to their child’s welfare.
It should be remembered that a child custody agreement can be altered and will likely need to be amended as a child grows up and requires more or less responsibility. It may be best to know your legal options when creating a custody order.