One of the most difficult parts of a separation is the possible battle between spouses over child custody. Child custody is sometimes agreed upon in the process of a divorce settlement and other times must be taken to court as a dispute to be decided with a judge.
Physical and Legal Child Custody
Physical custody of a child means a parent having the right to have a child live with him or her. Legal custody is the right for a parent to make decisions on his or her child’s behalf. Both of these types of custody can exist as either joint or sole custody. Joint physical custody is the most effective if both parents are residing close to each other. This lessens the stress on the child who will have to travel between homes in the future.
Joint Child Custody
When two parents separate and no longer live together, they can file for joint custody of a child. Joint custody means that both parents have physical and/or legal custody over their child, each having an equal say in the child’s living space and future.
Sole Child Custody
Sole custody is when a parent has complete physical and/or legal custody over a child. That parent has complete authority over the child’s residence and in all matters pertaining to the child’s life. Sole custody is usually awarded to a parent if the other parent is unfit. For example, sole custody would be given to a parent if the other parent has a substance abuse problem, behavioral issues, or is otherwise an irresponsible parent on his or her own.
Whats Best for Your Child?
When it comes to disputes over child custody, it is rarely an easy decision to make for either parent. It is an emotionally strenuous time for both parents and their children. In the end, you must do what is best for your child. Roybal-Mack & Cordova, P.C.’s family law attorneys understand this, and well be with you to see that your child has the best future possible.