Types of Child Custody Arrangements

Before you talk to child custody lawyers in Harrisburg, PA, it’s useful to know the basic definitions of the four types of options. These definitions can be useful for helping you know what is going to be best for your child in a given situation.

Physical Custody

This is a common term and it means a parent has the right to physically keep the child. Physical custody is usually given to one parent or the other, and the child will be predominately staying with one parent. This happens when parents do not reside close to each other and it’s not feasible for them to share the responsibilities of caring for the child.

Legal Custody

This term indicates the parent has the legal authority for making decisions about a child’s health, education and general upbringing. They can decide which school the child will attend, the religion they will practice, and the type of medical care for the child. In many states, both parents have joint legal custody following a divorce even if one has the primary responsibility for the care of the child.

Joint Custody

Parents who do not live together, but share decision-making responsibilities about their child, or provide housing and other needs have joint custody. Most of the time if parents share responsibilities and custody, they often share in legal decisions as well. However, just because parents share joint legal doesn’t mean they have joint physical custody.

Sole Custody

Child custody lawyers in Harrisburg, PA can fight for this option. Sole custody is typically reserved for instances where one parent is unfit for whatever reason. Lately, the trend has been toward joint legal custody even if a parent is awarded sole custody. In situations where a parent is awarded sole custody, more lenient visitation is given to the parent who doesn’t live with the child.

If you have questions about a child custody or other family law matter, visit the Harshberger Law Firm website. Contact us and let us help you.

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