What you need to know about physical and legal custody

Do you have children and are you going through a divorce? The rights, duties, and obligations of each parent toward their children will be determined in part by the child custody arrangement.

Establishing physical and legal custody is the most important factor that will decide your parental rights. What does legal and physical custody mean? What you need to know is this:

What is physical custody?

Physical custody simply refers to the everyday residence of your child. Therefore, the parent(s) who have physical custody will make decisions regarding your child’s daily schedule. Clothing, food and a nighttime routine will need to be provided by parents who have physical custody rights.

Parents may share physical custody rights. When this happens, parents can develop a visitation schedule. During each parent’s respective visitation days, they’ll be obligated to provide food and shelter for their child.

What is legal custody?

However, parents may also be granted legal custody rights. Legal custody entails making decisions about a child’s upbringing. Choosing a child’s public or private school and which parent will attend school meetings, for instance, might fall under this category. A child’s health issues, dietary limitations and religious upbringing may also be decided by parents.

Many parents share legal custody. This means parents may need to keep constant communion when discussing important matters that relate to their child.

What are your rights as a parent?

It can be difficult to relinquish some of your rights as a parent. But, by understanding your rights, you may be able to develop a child custody plan that works for you and your child’s other parent.