The Many Forms of Child Custody Explained

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Divorce Lawyers in TownsvilleOne of the most important issues couples need to agree on during divorce is child custody. While some can settle this matter peacefully with the help of a divorce lawyer through mediation, others end up battling for custody in front of a judge. Whether you choose to settle things amicably or in a court, knowing the different forms of child custody can help you be wiser when making decisions.

Legal Custody

The court awards legal custody to the parent who will be the primary decision-maker when it comes to the child’s upbringing, health, and education. In most cases, the court orders a joint legal custody to give both parents the right to decide when it comes to the child’s needs.

Physical Custody

If the court gave physical custody to the mother, for instance, then she can live together with their child. The father will have visitation rights, on the other hand, where he can visit or be visited by their child at an agreed time. There are instances when the court gives a joint physical custody, especially if the distance between the parent's homes isn’t quite far.

Sole Custody vs. Joint Custody

If only the mother or the father has the right to live with the child and make major decisions for the child’s needs, then this is a sole custody. A sole custody though may be either a sole legal custody or sole physical custody. Divorce lawyers in Townsville and the rest of QLD added that the court might award joint legal and physical custody if they think this will be more favourable for the child’s welfare.

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How the Court Decides Custody

The court considers many factors before it orders a decision. Some of these are the ability of each parent to care for the child, financial stability, health or other special condition of the child, and history of drug or alcohol abuse and violence.

What if both parents are unfit for custody?

If the court finds both parents unfit to gain custodial rights, then it gives custody to someone who can best care for the child — or guardianship.

The court is always after the child’s best interest. But as parents with honest intentions, you too should know what is best for your child. If possible, talk things out peacefully and decide before the court decides for you.