Until someone is facing divorce, they may never have given much thought to the different types of child custody set forth in the legal system. You may know of situations in which kids live with one parent full-time and visit the other parent every weekend or every other weekend, which is a common scenario. In reality, custody is more complex and there are several options. It will benefit you to consider all the options as you proceed with the divorce.
Even when children live with one parent full-time, both parents typically share rights to make important decisions for the children. This is technically known as joint legal custody. It means the parents each have rights regarding aspects such as what schools and churches the kids will attend.
The parent with whom the children reside full-time is considered to have primary or full physical custody. The other parent is likely to have visitation rights set up on a specific schedule. The parent with this type of custody is required to follow the visitation schedule or the other parent can take legal action.
Joint physical custody involves the children staying with each parent approximately the same number of days per year. This can be set up in various ways. If the parents live close to one another, they might have the kids staying at one residence three days per week and the other residence four days per week. If the parents live far apart, one parent may have the youngsters every weekend or nearly so, along with school vacations and during the summertime.
In this case, one parent has both full physical custody and full legal custody. The other parent has no legal say in decisions made about the children, although he or she may have access through a visitation schedule.
Judges usually don't award sole custody unless one parent is absent for the most part, or if abuse or neglect has been verified. Verification of alcoholism or drug addiction also may result in the other parent being granted sole custody.
Bird's Nest Custody
A more recent development involves the children living full-time in one home and each parent moving in and out according to their custody schedule. This can be the most beneficial scenario for the kids, but it means that the parents must maintain three homes instead of two.
Contact a family law attorney like The Law Office Of James R. Kennedy Jr. to learn about custody laws that are specific to your state and to start working on acquiring the type of custody that you prefer. =