When you go through a divorce, you may be most concerned with making sure your children do not suffer any unnecessary adverse effects during and after this process. One way you can do this is by seeking a fair and reasonable custody order that allows your kids to maintain strong relationships with both parents. One thing you may find helpful is to learn more about the two main types of child custody and how they may affect your family.
Child custody may be a complex issue in some families. There is no cookie-cutter solution that will work for every family. It is crucial to negotiate terms that will suit the needs of your family, specifically your kids, for years to come, avoiding decisions based on how you feel in the moment. Knowing more about how child custody works can allow you to make better decisions that will provide your kids with stability and security well into the future.
Legal versus physical custody
Many Missouri parents decide that it makes the most sense to have a joint custody arrangement. This allows them to share parenting responsibilities and give the kids equal time with both parents. However, even in a joint custody arrangement, it is important to consider the following two types of custody:
- Physical custody — This is the amount of time the parent will actually spend with the child. This includes weekend visitation, holidays, vacations and more.
- Legal custody – This is the right a parent has to make important decisions on behalf of his or her child. These decisions pertain to religious upbringing, education, health care and more.
It is possible for parents to share joint physical custody while one parent retains legal custody. In some joint custody arrangements, it is entirely possible for parents to equally share both legal and physical custody of their children.
The best future for your kids
It is in the interests of your children to consider what type of custody arrangement will be best for your family for years to come. Understanding the two types of custody can help you make choices that are practical and sustainable. With any type of custody arrangement, it is important to work with an experienced legal ally who can help you consider your options, shield the interests of your kids and protect your parental rights.