Parents who share children together—whether they are married or not—will need to decide upon a custody arrangement should they decide to part ways. It is not a requirement for the parents to disclose their agreement with the courts, but if they are unable to come to a reasonable understanding, then the family law court may step in and make a determination that is in the best interest of the child.
A parent who has sole custody of the kids will be the primary caregiver of the children. Usually the other parent will only have visitation rights, if that. The parent who has custody of the kids will be the one who makes all of the decisions for the children and be their financial provider.
Sole custody is generally determined by a lack of desire to have a relationship with the children involved by the non-custodial parent, issues with drugs or alcohol, or a history of domestic violence or abuse of either the other parent or the children.
Parents who are able to get along will generally file for joint custody of their kids. Joint legal custody is where both parents have an equal say in decision-making involving the children. Both parents will also be responsible for getting kids to extracurricular events and share financial responsibility equally.
If the children primarily live with one parent, as opposed to parents sharing parenting time equally, the parent they live with is said to have physical custody. The custodial parent will be the one who takes care of the children on a daily basis and ensures that they make it to all extracurricular activities.
Joint Physical Custody
Parents who share custody of their children equally have joint physical custody. This means that both parents spend an equal amount of time with the kids. Some families break up their visits mid-week, while others rotate custody of their kids weekly.
Although older children have a more difficult time with this arrangement, younger children benefit greatly from this shared parenting time.
A parent is said to have legal custody if he or she is able to make important decisions regarding the children. For example, a parent with legal custody has the right to make decisions about the children’s religion, what school they should go to, and other pertinent decisions.
Parents are able to retain both physical and legal custody at the same time just as it’s legal for a parent to have legal custody but not physical custody.
Reach Out to a Terre Haute Child Custody Lawyer
If you would like to discuss your children’s custody arrangements or have questions regarding custody of your kids, get in touch with a talented Terre Haute child custody lawyer with the Rowdy G. Williams Law Firm today.
You can schedule your free consultation by calling 1-812-232-7400 or by completing the contact form we’ve provided at the bottom of the page.