When you decide to get a divorce with children involved, the court will have to determine what kind of child custody both you and your spouse will receive. A number of factors go into this decision, including employment, ability to raise the children, and even the children’s choice to a certain extent. However, the most important thing that is considered is the best interests of the children. Once the judge weighs all of these factors, they will likely award each parent custody in one of these four ways.
Physical custody is probably the most straightforward type of custody and it’s what most people think of when they hear the term “child custody.” In short, being awarded physical custody of a child means you have the right to have the child or children involved live with you. In this instance, the parent awarded physical custody is considered to be the “custodial parent.”
Legal custody does not necessarily entail having physical custody, but most often the two go hand-in-hand. Legal custody is the ability to make decisions on how a child lives and is raised, including religion, medical care, where they go to school, and more. Most often the parent who is awarded physical custody is also awarded legal custody, but in some cases legal custody is split between both parents, even though the non-custodial parent does not have physical custody.
Sole custody means that as a parent you are the only one to have a particular type of custody: either physical or legal. While it’s not unheard of for sole custody to be awarded when the court finds one parent to be totally unfit, it’s becoming increasingly rare for a sole custody award. Instead, the court is more frequently finding ways to include both parents into the parenting plan through different levels of joint custody and visitation.
Sharing custody through a joint custody award is usually the most beneficial arrangement as it can be individually tailored to the needs of each family. In joint custody situations, parents usually share the responsibilities of raising their children. In joint legal custody, parents both have a say on important decisions for the children, while in joint physical custody the children live and spend a significant amount of time with both parents.
If you need assistance with your divorce, do not hesitate to contact a skilled St. Louis divorce attorney from Kallen Law Firm. Attorney Craig Kallen and his team have proudly earned a substantial record of success and industry accolades from assisting clients with the complexities of their divorces, including a Superb rating from Avvo. We are focused on helping you reach the next chapter of your life with a resolution that will benefit the best interests of you and your family through reputable legal counsel.Call Kallen Law Firm now at (314) 441-7793 and request a free consultation to learn more about child custody!