If you are going through a divorce with kids in tow, you might be wondering about the different types of custody arrangements available. It can be overwhelming to look at your options. The four main types of custody are legal, physical, joint, and sole custody. Weigh your options and decide what works best for your family.
Different Types of Custody Arrangements: Know Your Options
Legal custody is one of the types of custody arrangements available. Whichever parent has legal custody of the children has the right to make all legal decisions for them. This could mean deciding long term things about their care and upbringing. For example, schooling decisions and medical decisions are things the legal custodian would need to decide. It’s possible to have sole legal custody. You could also share legal custody with your ex.
Physical custody is another type of custody arrangement. This type of custody decides who the children live with. It is different from legal custody. This is because if major decisions need to be made, even a physical custodian would need to consult with their ex. Physical custody could be sole. This means the kids live full time with one parent. It can also be joint where the children go back and forth between parents. However, with sole custody, it’s possible to give your partner visitation rights.
When looking at different custody arrangements, most people think of joint versus sole custody. Joint custody just means that both parents share in the raising of the kids. This can include joint legal custody or joint physical custody, or both. This is the option most common when both parents are fit caregivers. If you and your partner are both responsible parents, joint custody allows you both a say in your kid’s lives.
One final type of custody arrangement available to divorcees is sole custody. It means that one parent is entirely responsible for the children. Sole custody can be sole physical custody, sole legal custody, or both. This option is common when one parent is unfit. This could be because of incarceration, drug use, abuse, neglect, or mental illness among many other things. This can be in the best interest of the children if it’s for their safety. However, it means that the kids don’t get to interact much with one of their parents.
Looking at the different types of custody arrangements is a tough spot to be in. It can be messy and emotional trying to decide what works for you and your ex. Whether you decide on joint custody or sole custody of the kid’s legal or physical decisions, let it be the best option for your children.