Parents are typically given the opportunity to continue raising their children after a divorce. Parents may work together to make a child custody agreement or the court may assign a custody order. Custody agreements and orders determine what kind of legal and physical custody rights each parent has.
Physical custody is the parents’ right to maintain their child’s daily routine, such as meals, schooling and housing. Legal custody determines each parent’s right to decide how their children are raised. In other words, parents with legal custody can decide if a child goes to a private or public school, how their health and dietary restrictions are maintained and if they have a religious upbringing.
If you’re going through a divorce, it can help to learn about your custody options. Here’s what you should know:
What is joint custody?
The courts usually believe that both parents should maintain some presence in their children’s lives. Parents may be given joint custody. Joint custody allows both parents to have some legal and physical custody. Parents in a joint custody arrangement typically communicate often to coordinate custody days, changes in their children’s schedule and difficulties they are having in their lives.
What if joint custody doesn’t work?
Many parents divorce because of communication issues and parenting differences, which may mean that joint custody won’t work. However, parents can still share custody in a parallel parenting plan. Parallel parenting can mean that parents limit their communication to texts and emails and are given more autonomy over how their children are raised.
What is sole custody?
If a parent isn’t fit to raise their children, the other parent may fight for sole custody. Sole custody can give one parent most of the physical and legal custody rights over their children. The other parent may be given some visitation rights.
Determining if it’s better to get joint or sole custody in a divorce can be hard if you don’t know your options. You may need to reach out for legal assistance if you have any questions.