Child Custody FAQ's

1. What are the different types of custody?

Custody can be divided up into two parts, legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody means that the parent has the ability to make the major decisions about the child’s health, education, safety and welfare. Physical custody refers to which parent the child lives with.

2. What are the factors that the court considers during a custody case?

The primary standard that the court uses to determine a custody case is always, “what is in the best interests of the child.” The court has to determine many factors when it makes this decision. Some of the factors that are considered when the court makes a custody determination are: (1) emotional and physical environment; (2) the personal safety of the child; (3) moral atmosphere of the household; (4) the mental and physical health of the parents; (5) the age of the children; (5) the age of the children; (6) preference of the child; (7) the prior behavior of the parents, including any history of abuse; (8) the ability of each parent to care for the child; (9) and the importance of religious upbringing within the family.

3. What type of custody arrangements can a court impose?

Once a court makes a custody determination, there are several possible custody arrangements that a court may impose. The court may impose: (1) sole physical or legal custody; (2) sole physical custody with joint legal custody; (3) joint custody. The term “joint” does not mean equal. Instead, “joint” means that the parties equally share the obligation to raise the child.

4. What is the most traditional custody arrangement that a court imposes?

The most traditional arrangement is for the parties to share joint legal custody, and the wife/spouse in most cases gets physical or residential custody. When one parent receives custody, the other parent receives visitation rights. This parent is also referred to as the “non-custodial parent.” The amount of visitation rights that a parent receives varies in each individual case. Visitation rights cases range from supervised visitation at the court house, to splitting parenting time equally.

Continue Reading