Custody is the right to raise your children.
You share custody of your children when you stay together, but when you separate or divorce, you divide up custody.
Depending on the laws in your state, custody may be divided between legal custody, which is the right to make major decisions about the children, and physical custody, which is the right to raise the children day-to-day.
Many states allow each custody component to be divided between sole and joint.
Sole gives one parent full and exclusive rights, while joint shares those rights between parents.
If one parent is awarded sole custody, the other parent is almost always allowed visitation.
Visitation is when the noncustodial parent may see the children.
Visitation can take many forms, including reasonable visitation, which does not specify exact days and times, and scheduled visitation, which is more precise.
The court loses authority to make custody orders when the children reach the age of majority or become emancipated.
Child Custody and Visitation When you first separate, you must decide how to share your children.
If you agree, you can begin living the new arrangement.
But if you do not agree, a judge will decide for you.
And when the judge decides, he will be guided by the laws of child custody and visitation.
Types of Custody Responsibilities for children, when you are learning child custody laws,are usually divided into two categories: legal and physical.
Legal custody is the right to make major decisions about your child.
Physical custody is the right to have your child live with you.
In addition, legal and physical custody are each divided into two more categories: sole and joint.
Sole assigns the right to one parent exclusively, while joint shares the right between the parents.
Legal Custody Legal custody is the right to make major decisions about the child.
The parent granted legal custody is the guardian of the child and will make the important decisions about the child's health, education, and welfare Rights of legal custody can include making decisions about: o What schools the children will attend.
o What medical and dental care they will receive.
o What religion they will be raised in.
Theright to makes these decisions can be assigned to one p.
i rent exclusively, or shared between the parents.
If you want custody of your children, do not move out of the family home.
If you leave, you abandon the children to the other parent, who may be granted temporary custody.
Sole Legal Custody Sole legal custody entitles one parent-and one parent alone-the right to make all major decisions in a child's life.
That parent becomes the sole legal guardian, with the exclusive right to decide what is best for the child.
The advantage of sole legal custody is that it may reduce parental conflict by clearly establishing who has authority to make decisions.
The disadvantage is that by making one parent solely responsible for the child, the other parent is reduced to being a visitor, prevented from having a meaningful say in the child's life.
Sole legal custody may be appropriate when one parent prefers to relinquish his or her involvement with the children, or when a parent is too unstable to make basic decisions for the children.
Joint Legal Custody Joint legal custody shares the authority to make child-raising decisions between the two parents.
Under joint legal custody, the parents must share information and must consult and agree on issues regarding the children's health, education, and welfare.
The scope of issues may be stated in the custody order, or may be left undetermined.
These are the main points dealing with child custody laws.