Child Custody and Divorce

When you are going through a divorce, the process can be much more challenging there are children involved. There are child custody issues that are going to be in the middle of the divorce process. Parents always want the best for their children, so making sure that the best interests of the child are considered in a divorce proceeding can be a challenging task. Additionally, there are numerous types of child custody, so understanding the difference between sole custody, joint custody, legal custody and physical custody can be quite helpful. According to Kessler & Solomiany, LLC, becoming knowledgeable in these types of custody can make the difference when you are a parent that is facing some child custody issue.
When sole custody is awarded, one parent can have either sole legal custody or sole physical custody of a child. In some cases, sole custody is awarded to a parent if the other parent is declared unfit, possibly because of alcohol abuse, drug dependency or charges of child abuse or neglect. Yet, even if one parent gets sole custody, the other parent can play a role in their child’s life. In some cases, sole custody is awarded to one parent, but the two parents still share joint legal custody. In this case, the noncustodial parent gets a visitation schedule to see the child on a regular basis. The parents would both make joint decisions about the child’s upbringing, but one parent would be the primary physical caretaker, and the other parent would have the visitation rights. In the best interests of the child, sole custody is not recommended unless the other parent can cause direct harm to the child.
Joint custody, sometimes called shared custody, is usually when parents don’t live together, but they share the decision-making responsibilities and custody of the child. This joint custody can occur if the parents are no longer living together, if they have never lived together, are separated or are divorced. Joint custody can be characterized as either joint legal custody, joint physical custody, or joint legal and physical custody. However, there are some disadvantages of joint custody, as the child goes back and forth from each household and any lack of cooperation from the parents tends to have detrimental effects on the child.
Legal custody of the child allows the parent to have the right and obligation to make important decisions about the child’s upbringing and future. For instance, this parent would make decisions about where the child goes to school, the child’s medical care, and sometimes religious upbringing. When joint legal custody is issued, these decisions are shared by both parents. In custody decisions, providing for the best interests of the child is crucial, and courts frequently weigh in on the parents’ ability to provide an overall stable environment for the child.
When the child is granted the right to live with a certain parent, that is considered physical custody. When joint physical custody is awarded, the child spends a significant amount of time with both parents. This custody works best if both parents live close to one another so that the child is not stressed traveling and gets to maintain a daily structured routine.

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