No two families are the same, which means there is no one-size-fits-all solution for child custody. There are different types of custody arrangements, and you have the right to create a unique plan that suits the individual needs of your children. For many Pennsylvania families, joint custody is the preferred choice, and it’s an option that allows the children to have relatively equitable access to each parent.
If you are considering the issue of custody and visitation, you may benefit from knowing all of the options available to you. While joint custody could be a practical and sustainable choice for your family, it is not ideal in every situation. Before you make any decisions that could affect you and your kids for years to come, you may benefit from considering how joint custody could work in your unique situation.
Legal and physical custody
In any type of custody arrangements, parents will have to address both legal and physical custody. Physical custody refers to the amount of time a parent will spend with his or her child, such as weekend visitation, vacations and more. Legal custody refers to the authority a parent may have to make important decisions for his or her child, such as those related to religious training, education, health care and more. In many joint custody arrangements, parents will share both legal and physical custody.
However, there are times when one parent will retain sole legal custody. In situations where one parent has sole legal custody, it is likely because the court saw this to be in the best interests of the child. The court may consider the actions of the parents, the needs of the children, the quality of the relationship the child has with his or her parents, and other factors. In cases where the parents have joint legal custody, they will have to work together to make critical decisions for their child.
The best future for your family
There is no perfect solution for child custody, but you can reach a final resolution that provides your children with stability and security long-term. When negotiating custody terms or considering decisions that will affect your family for years to come, you can benefit from setting aside temporary emotions and keeping your perspective on what will be in the best interests of your children.