Legal vs. Physical Custody: What’s the Difference?

When you have a child and start thinking of divorce, you know custody will be involved. With so many different kinds of custody, it can be difficult to know exactly what you want and how to ask for it. Read below to learn about the two main types of child custody: legal and physical. Once you understand what exactly these types of custody involve, it will make it much easier to decide what to ask for when you file.

Legal Custody

Whoever has legal custody of a child is able to make legal decisions on behalf of the child. These decisions can come in various forms. You could be doing something as simple as signing a consent form for a school field trip. Or, it could mean something larger like approving medical treatment for your child.

It’s important to understand the full scope of duties of a legal custodian. If you believe that your former spouse will be spending a considerable amount of time with your child, you should think about what would happen if an emergency should arise. Think about how you would want to proceed and whether you believe your former spouse would make good decisions for your child. This will help you decide whether you think one or both of you should have legal custody.

Physical Custody

A parent with physical custody gets to live with the child for a select period of time. Just because a parent is awarded physical custody doesn’t mean that he or she gets to live with his or her child for half of the week. Physical custody varies from family to family.

In some cases, physical custody can mean a couple of days each month or only weekends. For other people, physical custody might mean that you have your child for one week at a time every other week. When an individual has sole physical custody, it means that the child only lives with that parent.

Sole or Joint?

Anytime you are awarded sole custody (whether it’s legal or physical custody), it means that you are the only parent that has this type of custody. If you and your former spouse are awarded joint custody, it means that you both share those responsibilities.

Still Confused?

If you are filing for a divorce in the Houston area and you’re still confused about what type of custody you want for your child, contact Alsandor Law Firm. We can answer any questions you might have and help you decide what request would be best for your child. To learn more about how we can help you, visit our website or give us a call at (713) 701-9384.

2018-11-13T08:51:03+00:00