Looking to understand some of the main differences of joint custody vs. sole custody? Divorcing parents may spend a lot of time thinking about child custody arrangements. Each one considers whether he or she wants custody and if so, how much and what kind. There are several types of custody and parents should understand what each one is and what factors are considered by family courts rendering or approving custody arrangements. When deciding whether to ask for joint custody vs. sole custody, it is essential to understand the differences and speak with an experienced child custody lawyer.
Joint Custody vs. Sole Custody – Does It Matter?
Physical and legal child custody are two different things. Physical custody is the right to provide daily care for the children. In most cases, the children live with the parent providing physical custody, referred to as the custodial parent. Legal custody is the right to make key, long-term decisions about childrearing, such as medical care, religion, and education.
Joint custody refers to parents participating equally. Sole custody grants one parent exclusive custody rights. Parents are not usually awarded joint physical and legal custody because this is difficult to arrange. It is also rare for a parent to receive sole physical and legal custody. A parent will typically only receive sole custody in divorce if the other parent is a child abuser or drug addict.
In most custody cases, one parent receives primary physical custody; this parent is commonly called the “residential parent” or the “custodial parent.” The non-custodial parent may receive visitation rights in order to spend time with the children according to a pre-determined schedule. However, there are situations in which parents share physical custody, called joint physical custody. Parents receive joint legal custody in most child custody cases. This enables them to share rights to make long-term decisions regarding the welfare of their children.
Whether parents decide to petition for joint or sole custody of the physical or legal variety, they often need some help. Custody laws are complex and they are not universal, making it difficult to understand how to proceed. To win custody during divorce, many parents enlist the help of family law attorneys. These legal experts understand how the system works and know how to prepare strong custody cases for their clients so judges will rule in their favor. Speaking with a family law attorney is the best way to know what your situation calls for and the differences that joint custody vs. sole custody will bring in the future.
This type of child custody help proves invaluable when parents have difficulty attesting to their caregiving abilities. Legal representation can also help parents avoid a custody fight during divorce that could damage their parenting relationship and affect their children. The benefits of receiving the desired type and level of custody far exceed the cost of a lawyer. Parents should think about this before embarking on custody discussions because it can be difficult to alter the initial decisions. Getting an experienced child custody in our area to provide you with a free consultation is as simple as filling out the form on the side of this page or giving us a call! Get your free child custody consultation right away.