Different Kinds of Child Custody

Saying you want a divorce is one thing, but actually separating two lives is a complicated process. There are many rules and regulations that pending divorcees are unaware of, but today you’re going to learn about the two different kinds of child custody: legal and physical.

The Two Types of Child Custody

Child custody splits into two different categories, legal custody, and physical custody. Legal custody grants the custodian the right to make decisions for a child’s life; physical custody grants the custodian overnight care privileges for a child. Let’s examine each type of custody separately.

Legal Custody

Legal custody lets a custodian make life choices for his or her child.

Legal custody lets a custodian decide the following:

  • If and when the child receives medical treatment (outside of emergency situations);
  • Where the child will go to school; and
  • What religion (if any) the child is affiliated with.

One parent can have sole legal custody of a child, where he or she makes all legal decisions; or both parents can split legal custody and work together to make legal decisions. However, physical custody is something different entirely.

Physical Custody

Physical custody lets a custodian have overnight care privileges of a child. Essentially, physical custody is equated to a child living with the custodian.

One parent can have sole physical custody, which means the child lives with the custodian, and the other parent only visits the child; or the parents can split physical custody, where the child lives with both parents.

A custodian cannot have legal custody of a child if he or she does not have physical custody, but a custodian can have physical custody of a child without having legal custody.

Need Experienced Representation

If you are going through or planning on going through a divorce, now is the time to talk to a divorce attorney about your case. Hollingsworth Robert Means is here to help clients with all aspects of their divorces.

Call (888) 211-3888 now to set up a consultation for your case!