19 December 2007

5 Defined Types of Child Custody for Those in a Custody Dispute

The different options in acquiring child custody are legal custody, physical custody, split custody, third party custody and combinations of custody.

Couples that aren’t getting along well usually end up getting a divorce. For those with children, another problem that adds up is fighting over child custody. This is a matter of wary consideration. You should understand the terminologies used by Sacramento family law attorneys and the like. Otherwise, you may end up getting the wrong kind of child custody and just be left regretting. Read and understand each option to guide you the right way.

Legal custody

This first option pertains to acquiring the legal authority to decide on major matters on behalf of the child or children. For instance, you get to decide where the child will be getting his education and what type would it be. You also have the right to choose the form of religious upbringing of the child and you can also make a decision on non-emergency medical arrangement. You can also settle where the child will be living without the legal interference of anybody else. Legal custody has two subcategories which are Sole Legal Custody and Joint Legal Custody. First, the parent with the Sole Legal Custody is the only person who can make major decisions for the child. On the other hand, Joint Legal Custody refers to both parents having the legal authority to decide on major matters about the child.

Physical custody

Physical Custody pertains to where the child will be residing most of the time, where he will live, eat and sleep. This child custody option has three denominations namely: Sole Physical Custody, Joint Physical Custody and Bird’s Nest Custody. In Sole Physical Custody, the child only resides at one place and in some cases; the non-custodial parent may visit and have sleepovers. Joint Physical Custody is also referred as “Shared Parenting”, “Dual Residence” or “Shared Custody”. In this arrangement, the child lives in both parents’ custody and the time spent with one is approximately equal with the other parent. Lastly, Bird’s Nest Custody refers to the child residing in one place and the parents will have to rotate in and out of that home. Same as Joint Physical Custody, the division of time spent is equal.

Split custody

Split Custody is applicable for parent with more than one child. In this situation, the decision depends partly on the children. If they prefer different parents, the court may grant this type of custody.

Third party custody

In this situation, neither of the parents are granted custody but somebody else such as grandparents, aunts or uncles or any close family friend. This option is applicable to those children whose parents are not fit to take care of them, whose parents have passed away or if the child prefers to be under third party custody.

Combinations of custody

Combinations of one type with the other can also be arranged. Common blends are sole legal and sole physical, joint legal but sole physical or joint physical but sole legal. There are also rare cases wherein the court orders joint legal with joint physical, only if both parents agree and can cooperate in the upbringing of their child.

Decide this with a lawyer so as to understand more. Never settle on decisions with the other parent outside of court because this doesn’t settle things but only provide temporary custody.

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