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Learn more about child custody arrangement options

On Behalf of | Dec 26, 2023 | Child Custody |

One of the most important things for parents to talk about as they go through a divorce is child custody. Child custody is an arrangement that gives parents legal and physical custody of their children. Legal custody is a parent’s right to make decisions regarding how their child is raised, such as their school, religious or medical matters. Physical custody determines how parents maintain a child’s daily routine.

Parents typically have two child custody options: joint or sole custody. Here’s what you should understand about each:

Understanding joint and sole custody

What is joint custody? If parents can work together to raise their children after a divorce, then they may have joint custody. Joint custody allows both parents to make some legal and physical custody decisions. Courts typically prefer that parents have joint custody, believing that it’s in the child’s best interests. 

Parents who share custody often have to keep constant communication regarding their children’s needs. However, communication issues or parenting conflicts may have led to a divorce. As a result, parents may still have joint custody, but they must abide by a parallel parenting plan. What this means is that both parents are given more autonomy regarding their children’s upbringing and communication between parents can be limited unless there are complications that the parenting plan doesn’t address. This is often done to reduce conflicts between parents.

What is sole custody? If one parent is seen unfit to raise their children, the other parent may be given full legal and physical custody. Sole custody means one parent has all the right to decide how their children are raised and the other parent may have limited visitation rights.

As a parent, you want what’s best for your children. You may need to reach out for legal guidance as you discuss what child custody options are best for your children.