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Understanding Child Custody: The Different Types and What They Mean

Child custody is one of the most critical aspects of family law, directly affecting both parents and children involved in legal proceedings. At its core, child custody determines who will have the right to make decisions for the child and with whom the child will live. Here are the various types of child custody to be aware of:

  • Physical Custody: This refers to where the child will live. The parent with primary physical custody typically houses the child most of the time. However, in joint physical custody scenarios, children may split their time between both parents’ homes.
  • Legal Custody: This type of custody pertains to decision-making rights about the child’s upbringing, including choices about education, healthcare, and religion. Like physical custody, legal custody can be joint (shared) or sole (one parent has the right).
  • Sole Custody: One parent has both physical and legal custody. The other parent might have visitation rights, but does not have any custodial rights.
  • Joint Custody: Both parents share in making decisions for the child. This can be joint legal custody, joint physical custody, or both.
  • Bird’s Nest Custody: A less common arrangement where children remain in the family home while parents rotate in and out, ensuring stability for the child.
  • Third-party Custody: In cases where neither parent can care for the child, a third party, like a grandparent or close relative, may be awarded custody.

It’s essential to understand that the type of custody awarded depends on various factors, including the child’s best interests, the parents’ wishes, and the dynamics of the family situation. Consulting with a trusted family law attorney can provide clarity and guidance tailored to your unique circumstances.

Navigating child custody matters requires expert guidance. At Setzer Law Firm PLLC, we prioritize your child’s best interests and offer experienced counsel every step of the way. For dedicated support, call us today at 817-767-1865.

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