An Introduction To Child Custody After Divorce

If you are considering the possibility of divorce, then you have a stressful road ahead of you. You will need to divide up finances, assets, and maybe even child custody. To help make the process a bit easier for you, here are some ideas to consider when it comes to child custody, including which kind of custody is best and the difference between physical and legal custody:

Which type of child custody is best for your children and your situation?

You will also want to think about what is best for your children. While joint custody is a good compromise in some cases, sole custody can also be very appealing.

Joint custody is best when both parents want to play a role in the life of their children. Joint custody normally has a primary caretaker, who will retain custody of the child the majority of the time. It's common for one parent to be given weekends or a few days out of the month, but you could evenly split custody between both parents as well.

Sole custody is a better choice if one parent does not want to participate in their children's lives, or if you feel that the other parent would be a danger to your children. It can be difficult to convince a court to grant sole custody, so you want to have all of your ducks in a row before you make an argument for exclusive custody.

What is the difference between legal and physical custody?

You might also hear the terms legal and physical custody mentioned. They are sometimes the same thing, but that isn't always the case.

Legal custody essentially refers to the ability to make decisions on behalf of the child. This can mean picking the school for the child, their religious upbringing, and medical treatments. In many cases, legal custody is shared, since both parents want to have some role in the child's life. If there is shared legal custody and one parent goes against the wishes of the other, then you could end up with a battle in court. These battles rarely end in money changing hands, but rather in court orders to abide by the terms of the divorce.

Physical custody is essentially who has custody at any given time. When you give the children to your ex-spouse for their days or weeks with the child, then you are relinquishing physical custody and transferring it to the other parent.

For more information, contact firms like The Law Offices of Paul F. Moore II.