What Is the Difference between Legal and Physical Custody of a Child

While custody revolves around the daily decision of children`s lives, physical custody revolves around where the children will actually live. This is a very important decision that could affect your relationship with the children in the future if you lose custody. Typically, parents are granted joint custody, which means that parents must be involved in the decision-making process regarding children and parents have equal rights over the child`s medical and educational records. Conversely, when one party receives sole custody, they are able to make all the important decisions in life without the input of the other parent. Of course, the custodial party may consider the other parent, but he is not obliged to follow his wishes or even ask for his opinion. On the other hand, the label assigned to physical custody is much less important. Custody refers to who the child lives on most of the time. Often, a court awards joint custody to parents with primary property to either parent. Other courts may designate the same agreement as sole custody. What`s really important when it comes to physical custody is the parenting schedule. A parenting schedule determines the child`s daily comings and goings. Typically, one parent is designated as the primary physical custodian and the other parent receives secondary custody.

Custody reflects where the child will live after the divorce. Visits refer to how often parents spend time with their children. Supervised visits or no visits may be ordered if a parent`s ability to properly care for a child is questioned. This happens when there is evidence of substance abuse, neglect or other child abuse. Custody generally refers to the residence of a minor child. Like legal custody, custody may be transferred exclusively to one of the parents or shared by both parents. M.G.L.c. 208, § 31 defines sole custody as when a child resides with one of the parents and is “under the supervision of one parent, subject to appropriate access by the other parent, unless the court concludes that such an access would not be in the best interests of the child”. In short, if one of the parents has sole custody, the child lives primarily with that parent and the other parent has parenting time that likely reflects a schedule that allows the child to be with the primary guardian for two-thirds of the time. In Massachusetts, the non-custodial parent usually has parental leave on weekends. Many judges are of the school of thought that a child should have a place to feel at home, a place that is their norm and a place to prevent them from going back and forth too often. The visit, in turn, is based on the best interests of the children and varies depending on the facts and circumstances of the case.

* Note that the term “custody” is used in many, but not all, states. Get advice from the lawyers at Rocket Lawyer On Call®. We make it affordable and easy. Custody refers to who can make important decisions about the child. No, this does not include when the child can get his hair cut, these are more important decisions regarding education, religion, medical procedures, etc. Most of the time in Virginia, both parents share joint custody of their child, which means they both have a say in these decisions. In addition to real problems with one of the parents, the courts are very interested in dealing with both parents with their child or children. If you and your spouse are already on the same page when it comes to children, it shouldn`t be that hard to move forward. However, in some cases, custody points are becoming a major problem for divorced couples. For example, during the marriage, the father left all school and medical decisions to the mother. Suddenly, he decides he doesn`t like the doctor the children see or the school they attend.

You can see how it can get ugly very quickly. Custody gives the parent the right and duty to care for the child on a daily basis. Custody allows the parent to have the right for the child to live with him. Do you need legal help with custody issues? Fill out the evaluation form now! In this article, we examine the definitions and differences* between custody, joint custody, physical custody and joint custody. We also discuss possible visit scenarios. Joint custody is generally granted in some states, such as California, Texas, and Utah. If joint custody is not granted, it may be for one or more of the following reasons: in these cases, the parents must establish a schedule between them. This requires communication and compromises. Therefore, appropriate visualization is not often used in contested custody cases. Parents can have joint custody and a timeshare of 20/80, 30/70 or 40/60 or 50/50. An example of a 50/50 timeshare would be weekly childcare, where children live in one parent`s home one week and the other parent`s home the next week.

Any guard conflict is stressful and can be extremely emotional. If you find that you need advice on your child`s custody, do not hesitate to call us and we will be happy to arrange a consultation to discuss your unique situation with one of our lawyers. You can reach us at 757-656-1000 or by email at info@attorneyholcomb.com. You don`t have to go through this alone – we`re here to help! If you`re involved in a custody dispute, you`ll hear a lot of legal jargon as the case progresses. .