Child custody is a complicated and sensitive issue that must be carefully addressed whenever couples separate or divorce but the best decision should be based on what is the best for children.
Parents should begin addressing this sensitive issue by understanding what types of child custody are there? The basic available options include legal custody and physical custody.
It is recommended for parents to try and come to an agreement outside of the courtroom on the best child custody option. When the parents cannot agree on one binding child custody option, the judge will determine what is in the best interest for the child.
Different child custody options have different specifications and limitations.
Legal custody gives the right and obligation to make decisions about the upbringing of the child. The parent with the legal custody is tasked with making decisions such as schooling, medical care and religion among others that relate to the child. The legal custody can be joint or sole custody.
Joint Legal Custody:This arrangement offers both parents with the legal authority to make major decisions for the child. In this arrangement, the parents must continue to communicate with each other in order to make a decision. Joint legal custody is encouraged because it has a degree of effectiveness overtime as parents learn to co-parent together. The child also feels the presence of both parents, which offers the child with emotional satisfaction. However, it is important to note that sometimes it may be difficult to collaborate especially after the first few months after divorce.
Sole Legal Custody: A parent with sole legal custody is the only person mandated to make major decisions on behalf of the child. In this arrangement, it is easier to make vital decisions as there is no consultation. This arrangement is granted when one parent is completely absent requiring the other parent to make decisions on his or her own. A divorce attorney would better be able to make that judgment call for you if your situation fits the bill.
Physical custody refers to where the child stays most of the time. The types of physical custody include sole, joint and bird’s nest custody.
Sole Physical Custody: In this arrangement, the child physically resides in one location with the non-custodial parent being given visitation rights. In most occasions, this arrangement enables the children to live in the location they previously stayed before divorce and thus, continue with their established routines.
Joint Physical Custody: In this arrangement, both parents live with the children equally. The children can stay with one parent for a certain period of time such as year and the remaining period with the other parent. In this arrangement, children have experience of living with both parents and both parents are given equal parenting share without one being deemed a visitor.
Birds Nest Custody: In this arrangement, the children live in one central location and parents rotate to live with them in the children home. The benefit of this procedure is that children continue to live their lives without interruptions. This arrangement has little change on children lives caused by divorce or separation.
It’s always important though to consult with a divorce attorney in your jurisdiction to mesh out all the details and how they apply to you.