Getting custody of your kids may be one of the most important legal procedures you’re ever involved in. Being able to play a major role in raising your kids is very significant and that starts with having custody in some form. But you might not realize there is more than one type of custody you might want to pursue.
For most people, raising their children should involve both physical and legal custody.
What Is The Difference Between Legal And Physical Custody?
Most people think of physical custody first. Physical custody involves where your child physically lives and who they stay with while growing up. Legal custody, on the other hand, involves decision making in both short and long term. When a parent has legal custody of their children, they have the right to make decisions involved in raising their children which can include choices about education, medical care and religious instruction.
While many people only think to secure physical custody, legal custody and the ability to make decisions about your child’s health, well-being and lifestyle can be just as important in raising them.
What Do I Need To Do?
What do physical and legal custody mean for you? If your ex tries to obtain sole physical custody of your kids, you may need to pursue joint physical custody if you believe visitation is not enough.
In most cases legal custody is awarded to both parents regardless of physical custody decisions. That means both parents will need to agree upon decisions regarding their children’s upbringing, regardless of who has physical custody. However, in some cases, one parent can show that the other is unfit to make decisions about their children’s upbringing and they may be awarded sole legal custody.
The child custody system can be complicated, and a court battle is often confusing. You may need to ensure you are getting both legal and physical custody of your children if you are in a custody battle and pursuing the right to be in your child’s life.