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What Are the Different Types of Custody?

October 12, 2015

There are different types of custody, and they can be confusing. There is legal custody, and there is physical custody. Legal custody means you have the right and obligation to make decisions regarding the child’s upbringing (ex. school, medical care, religion). Physical custody means you have the right to have the child live with you. Either of these may be joint- meaning the parents share, or sole- meaning only one parent, and you may have a combination of the two. For example, you may have joint legal and physical custody where both parents share in the decision making and the child spends about an equal amount of time with both parents. This situation is ideal for parents that live in close proximity and who communicate well, or you may have joint legal and sole physical meaning both parents share in the decision making, but the child spends considerably more time living with one parent that the other. This is typical of parents who live far apart.  If you have joint legal custody and one parent is excluding the other from decision making, that parent may be taken back to court to ask a Judge to enforce the custody agreement. If you have questions about custody or would like to petition for custody of your child, our attorneys can evaluate your situation and advise you of your options.