What are the Differences Between Physical And Legal Custody?

What are the Differences Between Physical And Legal Custody?

During divorce proceedings, a couple is required to consider arrangements for their new future and reach necessary decisions. If the couple has children, they must determine the custody of the children. Custody determines which parent the child will spend most of their time with and who is responsible for making important decisions for them during their life. The court hopes that parents can come to an agreement that is in the best interest of the children. In the event that they cannot, the court may step in and the judge can make the decision for them. Different custody arrangements are available to be considered by parents during a divorce.

Physical Custody

Physical custody is also known as residential custody, as it refers to where the child lives and spends most of their time. This type of custody determines who the child’s main guardian and where they reside most of the time. This parent is also known as the custodial parent because they are the one the child will live and spend the majority of their time with. Regardless of which parent the child lives with more, they will also spend time in the non-custodial parent’s home.

Legal Custody

When going through a divorce, it is important for parents to understand what legal custody is and the weight it has. Physical custody pertains to where a child lives while legal custody regards a different aspect of a child’s life. A parent should still fight for legal custody even if they do not have physical custody of their child.

When a parent is awarded legal custody, they are allowed a say in the important decisions for the child throughout their life. This allows them to have influence over issues such as health care, academics, religious practices, and more. This right is important because it allows both parents to be involved with and have a relationship with their child. It can also be beneficial if a custodial parent wants to relocate with their child at any point. Legal custody allows the non-custodial parent the right to have a say in these situations.

How is Custody Determined?

In court, a judge is given the opportunity to make the final decision regarding a custody arrangement. This decision is made with the consideration of several factors. This may include but is not limited to:

  • If the parent will act in the child’s best interest
  • If the parent can provide a stable home
  • The relationship between the child and each parent
  • Any history of abuse
  • The needs and safety of the child
  • The preference of the child if they are of sufficient age

Contact our Firm

If you or a family member is going through a divorce and seeking legal representation for child custody, contact the Law Office of Toby Grabelle, LLC. today.

The Law Office of Toby Grabelle, LLC is a family and divorce law firm serving Monmouth County and all of New Jersey that would be happy to assist you in legal counsel. If you need quality legal services, contact the firm for a consultation.