Types of Child Custody

When a married couple decides to end their marriage, one of the most affected will be their children. After living with both their parents, the impact of seeing them living separately can be too hard for the child. Who gets custody of the kids is one of the most important issues that is addressed in divorce proceedings. The website of Marshall & Taylor PLLC reveals that deciding on child custody involves determining the best interest of the child.

There are different kinds of child custody available for the court to choose from. This type of cases is all about looking after the care and welfare of a child. The parent who gets custody is called the “custodial parent” with whom the child will spend most of his time after the divorce. Initially, it is the parents who will decide who will get custody of the child. If they cannot agree among themselves, this is the only time that the court will intervene.

Physical Custody

Physical custody may either be shared by both parents in a joint physical custody or awarded to only one parent in a sole physical custody agreement. In joint physical custody, the place of residence is shared between the parents in a way that will allow the child to have equal time and contact with their parents. In sole physical custody, the children permanently stay with the custodial parent while the non-custodial parent gets visitation rights.

Legal Custody

In legal custody, one or both parents make major decisions regarding the care or welfare of their child. When one parent decides, it is called sole legal custody. When the court awards joint legal custody, both parents have equal rights with the decision making.

Non-Parent/Third Party Custody

There are instances when custody of the child is awarded to a relative or close friend of the family. In non-parent or third party custody, the person seeking child custody files a petition with the court and pays the filing fees. They also need to have a letter of consent from the parents. The petitioner will then be subjected to a background check and may sometimes be interviewed or have their home inspected.

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