Laws of Custody
Child custody is a very serious issue that must be addressed when couples are separated or going through a divorce. Divorce and custody proceedings tend to go hand-in-hand. Each state across the country has slight variations on their laws of custody from other states. It is extremely important for separated or divorcing parents to get to know the child custody laws of their state so that they are prepared for any possible outcome.
Differences in laws of custody
Child custody is one of the most sensitive issues that come up during a divorce or separation. Although coming to an agreement on custody may be difficult, the family laws and courts of most states prefer that an agreement should be made by both co-parents outside of court. If parents are not able to come to an agreement on their own, it will be up to the court to decide what is in the best interest of the child based on the state’s laws of custody. When either parents or the court are deliberating on a custody or parenting plan two types of custody must be addressed, legal and physical.
As it was previously stated, laws of custody require two types of custody to be defined in a parenting plan or custody agreement. The first of which is legal custody. Legal custody refers to the legal care and decision-making responsibilities for a child. A parent with legal custody of a child would have responsibilities such as deciding issues of education, health, and religion for the child.
Laws of custody also require that physical custody be defined in a parenting plan or custody agreement. Physical custody refers to the day-to-day care of the child. Physical custody also establishes a residence for the child. A parent with physical custody of a child is seen as the primary residence of the child and must provide the child with food, clothing, and other daily necessities.
How do the laws of custody award these different types?
The previous types of custody have to do with where the custody is awarded, but divorcing or separated parents must also understand how the laws of custody will award custody in both cases. States across the country typically grant these types of custody in one of three ways; sole custody, joint custody, or split custody. Sole custody can be granted to one co-parent giving them full custody of the child. Joint custody can be granted to both co-parents giving both of the custody of the child. Split custody requires multiple children to be involved. Split custody is when one co-parent has full custody over some children and the other co-parent has full custody over the other children. These different cases of custody can be applied to both physical and legal types. If the laws of custody and family courts are in favor of sole custody, they will typically grant it both physically and legally. If the laws of custody and family courts are in favor of joint custody, they will typically grant legal custody to one or both co-parents and physical custody to both co-parents.
Custody agreements and parenting plans are often very difficult to maintain. The OurFamilyWizard website® is making this task easier with their array of online child custody tools. The OurFamilyWizard website® is dedicated to providing co-parents with the tools and resources they need to easily manage their custody agreements. For more information on the laws of custody and how the OurFamilyWizard website® can help with managing your custody agreement, please visit the Child Custody and Divorced Parenting page for more information.