Child custody issues are sometimes the most heated and emotional issues that can arise in family law.
If you cannot agree on custody arrangements for your child(ren) through negotiation or mediation, the issue will be decided by a Judge, who will base the decision on what is in the best interests of your child(ren). There are two types of custody, legal and physical:
Legal custody is the ability to make decisions about important issues that could have long term effects, such as education, medical care, religion and the like.
- If both parents share this responsibility for making these important decisions together, then they share joint legal custody.
- If only one parent has the sole responsibility for making such decisions, then that parent has sole legal custody.
Physical custody is with whom the child(ren) resides. The parent exercising physical custody makes the practical decisions concerning the child’s daily life, such as making sure homework is completed, deciding what the child(ren) eat, when they go to bed and the like.
- The parent of primary residence is the parent with whom the child(ren) resides the majority of the time. The other parent is the parent of alternate residence. Depending on who the child(ren) is with, whether it is the parent of primary or alternate residence, that parent makes the practical decisions when the child(ren) are with them.
- Physical custody can also be shared, so the child spends roughly the same amount of time with each parent. .
Child custody issues are not just for those getting a divorce. These issues can affect parents who are unmarried as well.
Ann Fabrikant helps parents work through these issues through negotiations, mediation and litigation. Contact our office if you have questions about child custody or need legal representation in a child custody matter.