There are big differences between sole and joint custody in divorce, and knowing them is essential before beginning the negotiation process. Divorces can be painful and emotional, especially when children are involved. One of the main issues in a divorce involving children is which parent will be awarded custody. In a case such as this, child custody itself can be broken into different categories and types. If you are a parent getting ready to file for divorce or already starting the process, you need to know the difference between them because it will dramatically affect your settlement regardless of where you land in this battle. speaking with an experienced divorce attorney that can explain the differences between sole and joint custody is essential – speak with one right now!
Sole and Joint Custody – Understand and Get What You Deserve
The first issue at hand is the difference between legal and physical custody of the child. If a parent has legal custody, they are entitled to make the “life decisions” for the child. These are decisions such as health care and schooling. Physical custody merely permits the parent the right to live with the child. In other words, you may have the right to have your child stay with you, but not the right to make any decisions regarding his or her upbringing.
In a case where only the mother or father is awarded sole legal custody, that parent makes all decision that pertain to the child. If they are also awarded sole physical custody, the child will spend all of his or her time with that parent. The parent not awarded these right may still able to see and/or visit with the child. Sole physical custody, generally speaking, is an extreme decision and is put in place when the second parent has been deemed unfit.
While it was common in the past for the mother to be awarded sole custody, it is no longer the case. Today, both parents usually work as well as the reverse situation of men deciding to stay home and take care of the children. The courts are now more willing to grant custody to the father in these cases or at the very least, grant joint custody with friendlier terms for the father. The courts look at what is best for the children to allow them to continue with as much normalcy as possible during these very difficult times.
When children are involved, it will usually benefit the parents to put their personal differences aside to try to work out some type of custody agreement prior to the court’s making this decision for them. If this is the case, one or both parents may be unhappy with the court’s final decision. If an attorney has not yet been consulted, this would be a good time to do so.
The aid of an experienced divorce attorney at this time is extremely important. The legalities of a divorce are already challenging on their own, and become more so when children are involved. When determining things such as custody and child support, you want to be as informed as possible and know every option available. Speak with one of our divorce attorneys right away – we will connect you to a local attorney for free!