Understanding types of child custody

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Custody on Wednesday, January 31, 2018.

A common question for parents who are ending a marriage is, where will the children live? Many families want the most fair custody arrangement that is also in the best interest of the children. The two main types of child custody are legal and physical. Missouri residents will probably understand that there are a few different ways to combine the child care responsibilities within the two types of custody.

Legal custody refers to the right and responsibility to make decisions for the child when it comes to health, education and welfare. Physical custody refers to the parent who will live with the child. A person who understands the difference between legal and physical custody may be better prepared to negotiate a custody agreement with the other parent.

Sole custody is the arrangement that would give both legal and physical custody to one parent over the other, and typically grant visitation to the noncustodial parent. Joint custody is typically some version of sharing the custody between the two parents, although not necessarily a 50/50 split. A judge could decide on alternating, serial or even third party custody for a family, depending on the circumstances.

Some families will do best when they make up their own version of child custody, customizing a solution that works the best for their individual lifestyles. Many people hope to co-parent after divorce and maintain the best interest of the kids. In Missouri, many people choose to hire an experienced family law attorney to help them agree upon arrangements that meet their needs.

Source:, “Child Custody 101“, Armin Brott, Jan. 30, 2018

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