Getting a divorce is already a stressful and difficult process when it centers around two adults who are no longer able to work out their differences and feel that this is the best option for their relationship. However, when these two adults have children, it can make the process even more difficult. An experienced child custody lawyer knows that you already have enough on your plate when it comes to discussing who gets the house, the china, and the family dog. Deciding who gets what kind of custody of the children is another potentially huge argument. There are many factors that go into child custody arrangements during a divorce case and a good lawyer will want to walk you through the different options so you can understand what you may be getting into.
What are the different types of custody?
When you are getting a divorce and have minor children, you have even greater responsibilities than simply determining which assets should be split down the middle or if alimony must be paid. Instead, you want to ensure your children are raised in the best home or homes possible and that they get the care they need. The law has tried to make child custody as fair as possible while making sure the needs of the children are the top priority. State laws typically offer four different kinds of child custody during a divorce battle.
- Sole Physical Custody. When the court determines that only one parent is fit for physical custody, that means that the parent gets sole physical custody. The children will stay only with the one parent who has this custody. Depending on why the other parent does not get any custody will determine if and when they have any visitation hours and if these visitation hours must be supervised by a member of the court.
- Joint Physical Custody. If a judge looks at both parents’ backgrounds and sees that it is in the best interest of the children to have parents with joint physical custody, each parent will have a significant amount of time they get to have with their children. As long as both parents are deemed safe, this is usually seen as the best option because it allows the children the opportunity to continue growing up with both parents.
- Sole Legal Custody. When a judge grants a parent sole legal custody, it means that the parent makes all of the big decisions for the children, including where they will go to school, what doctor they will see, etc. In this scenario, the other parent may still have visitation rights but they do not get input on these decisions.
- Joint Legal Custody. Again, joint legal custody would be preferred in most situations because it allows both parents to continue making decisions in the best interest of their children. This is not always easy because parents need to come together to decide what works best for their children even if they have differences on how the children should be raised.
For more information on getting a divorce and child custody, contact a law firm today.