In 2019, the US recorded 2.015,603 new marriages. In the same year, 746,971 marriages ended in divorce. This is a rate of about 2.7 divorces per 1000 population, which is lower than the marriage rate.
However, divorce isn’t a rosy affair for many couples, especially because of irreconcilable differences. After finalizing the separation papers and agreeing on alimony payments, the biggest challenge is child custody.
There are different types of child custody. The court chooses one depending on the child’s interest and the relationship of the divorced couple.
Read on to understand the difference between these options.
1. Legal Custody
Legal custody gives the parent the right to make critical decisions about the child’s welfare and upbringing. This can include the choice of school, medical care, or even religion.
However, some states may opt for joint legal custody, especially if the child is quite young. In that case, the divorced couple must coordinate and have a common ground on all pertinent issues regarding the child.
2. Physical Custody
Physical custody means that the parent has the right to live with the child under their roof. Just like legal custody, the court can also decide to award joint physical custody. Here, the child spends significant time at the houses of both parents.
This arrangement works better if the parents live within proximity.
3. Joint Custody
Joint custody is common among divorced couples who are still on good terms or unmarried parents. As the name suggests, the child splits their time among both parents. It’s common for the child to have a dual residence at the living quarters of either parent.
Moreover, both parents can make critical decisions regarding the child’s welfare. Speak to attorneys who can help you decide on fair child support for joint custodial agreements.
4. Some Types of Child Custody May Allow Grandparent Visitations
Courts can also award visitation rights to grandparents if it aligns with the child’s interests. In some cases, the grandparents can also get full or partial custody if the parents are not able to meet the child’s basic needs.
It can be due to sickness, financial constraints, or drug addiction. However, divorced couples usually have common ground in these cases because they understand what’s best for the child.
5. Sole Custody
Many courts don’t subscribe to sole custody agreements because they deny the child from experiencing the role of both parents. However, if the court deems one parent unfit for child upbringing due to physical abuse or drug abuse, sole custody is the best option.
The types of child custody in this agreement can either be sole physical custody or sole legal custody. But the other spouse might still enjoy supervised visitation.
Bargain for the Right Type of Child Custody
Your affection towards your partner may end at divorce but not child upbringing. Children are the innocent victims of a child custody process. Thus, choose what is fair, custody that won’t impact their growth and development negatively.
Go for sole custody only if it’s necessary. Don’t deny your child the chance to grow with the love of both parents. After all, the divorced couples are you, not the kids.
Read the pros and cons of different types of child custody from other articles on this site.