Child custody comes in many forms


When some people hear the phrase "child custody" they think it is a catch all term for the very serious matter of determining a child's best interests in the wake of a divorce. However, there are many different types of custody when it comes to "child custody." Determining which one is right for you and your child going forward is not an easy decision, and in some cases isn't even a decision you can make.

This is why many splitting spouses decide to have a joint custody agreement. This ensures that their child will see both parents and have a relationship with both of them. This has been shown to be beneficial for both the child and the parents.

Sometimes, though, joint custody isn't possible. So what other forms of child custody are there?

The first two concepts to understand her are physical and legal custody. Physical custody is when a parent has the right to physically have the child live with him or her. Legal custody, on the other hand, gives the parent the right to make important life decisions for his or her child: religion, education, healthcare and the child's upbringing are examples of these important life decisions.

Physical and legal custody can be awarded as "sole" custody (i.e. one parent has the custody) or "joint" custody (as we talked about above, this involves both parents). No matter what your custody arrangement is, you need to respect the rules of that arrangement and ensure that you are acting in the best interests of your child.

Source: FindLaw, "The Various Types of Child Custody," Accessed Aug. 2, 2016

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