Child custody arrangements in a divorce can present emotional issues. Both parents often feel the need to play a major role in the child's life and believe having custody of a child will help them meet their needs. Even so, many parents are not familiar with child custody laws. Most believe there is only one type of divorce. In reality, there are two main types of custody – physical and legal custody. Each of these types of custody offers parents unique responsibilities and rights over their children. Understanding how each type of custody works will help you present a better case when filing for child custody. It is prudent to seek the services of a divorce lawyer to help you with your child custody case.
Here are the different types of child custody that you should know about.
This is the obligation and right to decide about a child’s upbringing. Major decisions in a child's life, such as education, dental, and medical care, are reserved for a parent who has legal custody of the child. In most states, legal custody of a child is awarded to both parents – joint legal custody. In this arrangement, if one of the parents doesn't involve the other parent in the decision-making process, the excluded parent can go to court for redress. While you will not be jailed or fined for excluding your ex in the decision-making process, the judge will enforce the initial ruling – joint legal custody – leaving you embarrassed. It can also lead to further disagreement between you and your ex. Also, your children may be harmed in this process. In addition to this, you will have to spend more money to have a divorce attorney represent you in court.
This is a legal right of either of the divorced parents to live with the child. Like legal custody, some states allow joint physical custody where both parents can have the child live with them half the time. While this is a good way to ensure each parent spends time with their child, it works best if you and your ex had an amicable separation.
Joint custody or shared custody is when parents who do not live together share their child's physical control and decision-making rights. It can be a joint legal or physical custody. In most cases, parents who share physical custody also share legal custody. It’s rare for parents who share legal custody to share physical custody.
In joint custody, parents align the joint physical custody of their child in line with their housing arrangements and daily schedules. If the parents cannot agree on a formula, the court often imposes one on them that both parties have to abide by. There is more than one type of physical custody arrangement that you can reach with your ex, including alternating years, split weeks, and weekend stays.
This is where the custodial parent or guardian has legal custody and physical custody of the child while the non-custodial parent enjoys visitation rights. Today, most courts discourage sole custody rights by bestowing physical custody to one parent and joint legal custody to both parents. This increases the involvement of fathers in their child's life. However, there are instances where sole custody is the best option for parents. In this case, you'll have to hire an experienced Marietta divorce attorney to help you secure sole custody of your child.
Bird's Nest Custody
Bird's nest is a form of joint custody where your children remain at the family home while you and your ex-partner take turns coming into the house to play your parental role.
Child custody cases can be quite challenging. The Siemon Law Firm, Marietta Divorce Lawyer, specializes in these cases and can help you navigate the confusing legal environment. Contact the firm at (770) 888-5312 or email email@example.com. You can also visit their offices at 1850 PARKWAY PL SE STE 715 MARIETTA GA 30067-8260 for an in-person consultation.