child custody Features
Child custody is not as simple as the media makes it appear, and custody disputes do not simply result in awarding the mother custody of the child. In situations where the parents are divorced, unmarried, or live far from one another, the issue becomes complicated. This is why many parents who are considering divorce choose to hire a child custody attorney who can help them through any legal entanglements and fight to retain custody of their child.
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Most state laws define custody as one or both parents bearing responsibility for the welfare of the child. Physical custody is what people commonly think of when they talk about custody. This refers to where a child lives on a daily basis, which can be given to one parent or both. Legal custody is a related matter and refers to the right to make significant decisions about a child, such as education and health care.
Every state has its own laws regarding family matters, including child custody. Contrary to popular belief, family courts do not favor one parent over another due to the basis of gender, and the court does not push one form of custody over another. There are several types of custody and visitation privileges available in most child custody situations, which are described as follows:
Joint Physical Custody
In cases where joint legal custody is granted by a judge, the child is essentially split between both parents. The child may live with each parent for a set period of time, which allows the child to spend equal time with both parents. Joint legal custody is not to be confused with situations where one parent has custody, but grants visitation rights to the other. This form of child custody is best suited for parents who are able to work past their differences and make decisions together for the best interests of the child.
Joint Legal Custody
Neither parent is given preference by the judges when it comes to making decisions for the best interests of the child. However, in certain situations, the court may give one parent the power to make certain decisions for the child, depending on several factors. This type of custody is not to be confused with joint physical custody, where the child is given equal time with each parent. Instead, joint legal custody is based out of a desire of the parents to make shared decisions regarding the child. “Joint Custody” is another term that can refer to either joint legal custody or joint physical custody and the term it is often used interchangeably.