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Are there different types of custody & visitation?

104215131_S.jpgDetermining child custody can be difficult for recently divorced parents. This is especially true when considering the many different types of custody arrangements that are available. When parents are at odds about custody and visitation, the focus must be put on the children at the center of the dispute. In fact, courts make all decisions based on the best interests of the children in question, to ensure they have a loving and healthy relationship with each parent. Very Well Family explains your options when it comes to child custody decisions. 

The first step is to understand the difference between physical and legal custody. Physical custody is where a child resides. A parent may be awarded sole physical custody, which means the non-custodial parent would be given visitation. Joint physical custody is a more common arrangement since courts believe that children are best served by spending ample time with each parent. When physical custody is shared, a child will spend a certain amount of time with one parent before transitioning to the other parent's home for the remainder.

Legal custody refers to the decision-making process regarding a child's life. A parent with sole legal custody would make all major decisions regarding schooling, medical care, and other essential issues. When legal custody is shared,  both parents must work together to make decisions regarding a child. While this can be difficult, especially after a contentious split, parents must put their children first. 

There are also a few options when it comes to visitation. Unsupervised visits are the most common, which entails the non-custodial parent spending time alone with a child or children. Visits may also be supervised, which means another trustworthy adult would need to be present during visits. This usually occurs when there are concerns about safety when a child is in the care of the non-custodial parent. 

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