Understanding the Different Types of Child Custody

a father holding his sonDuring a divorce, deciding who will have the custody of a child is a critical issue. The most common types of child custody are joint and legal or a variation of the two. Child custody arrangements can be made without the court’s intervention, but there are situations where the two parents fail to reach an amicable agreement, leading to court battles. When this happens, the court can order one of the following types of child custody:

Legal custody

A parent in whose favor legal custody is granted essentially reserves the right to make all decisions regarding the child in question, says an experienced family attorney in Denver. Such decisions may involve education, residence, health, and religion. You need to keep in mind that these can be made without consulting the other parent.

Physical custody

Physical custody means that a child resides with one parent while the other is awarded visitation rights. The various types of visitation rights include supervised, unsupervised and virtual. The latter is where the non-custodial parents interact with their child via video conferencing.

Sole custody

In a sole custody arrangement, the parent can either have legal or physical custody or even both. When a court grants a sole legal custody arrangement, the non-custodial parent is allowed visitation rights and equal power to make decisions regarding their child.

Joint custody

In a joint custody arrangement, both parents are allowed equal rights. The child can split time living with both the parents without any legal dictation. Just like with sole custody, this arrangement can also be awarded in the form of legal or joint physical custody.

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Child custody arrangements can be confusing as the laws and jargon used vary with each state. The final court decision regarding the custody of your kid will establish the guardian who reserves the rights to make major child-related decisions. This final decree will also determine where the child resides and what types of visitation are available for the non-custodial parent.