While dealing with a separation, another thing that you need to settle would be child custody. So whether or not the couple agrees on their own, or deal with the issue in court, it is important that you understand the different types of child custody that you should be aware of. And before you hire a trusted Houston custody lawyer, here’s everything that you need to know.
Legal and Physical Custody
Legal custody is essential for divorced parents when raising children. Legal custody is giving parents the right to make important and long-term decisions for their children. This includes the child’s education, dental and medical care, religion, and lifestyle choices. In most cases, legal custody is given to both parents, called “joint legal custody.”
Just like legal custody, legal custody is also needed when raising children. Physical custody on the other hand pertains to which parent the child would be living with. That means that the child would only live with the parent who is granted physical custody. Usually legal custody and physical custody go together and this is for the benefit of the children.
The parent granted sole physical and legal custody is the one who will have the exclusive rights when it comes to the child. This is a rare custody arrangement and is only granted for limited situations where the other parent is deemed unfit or incapable in any form of parental responsibility. In these situations, the other parent will not have physical nor legal custody rights. He or she will only be entitled to visitation rights with the child.
If the parents decide not to live together, they will still share responsibilities when making decisions about the child. And this is considered as joint legal or physical custody. This can be joint legal custody, joint physical custody, or both. Couples may have joint physical custody and have shared legal custody as well. However, parents who are only granted joint legal custody will not always have joint physical custody as well.
Now, Who Gets Custody?
When dealing with a child custody situation, the most important question is – ‘Who will get custody and visitation rights?’ The answer to this question is complicated. There are so many factors that come into play and lawyers know the guidelines to follow and what to consider depending on your situation.
Why Hiring A Child Custody Lawyer Is Important
Child custody attorneys are experts in handling simple to complicated cases. During these times, an expert in custody laws can help evaluate your case and help decide on the next best thing to do moving forward. Both of you will work together where you can share your issues and opinions and negotiate and present you in court. Child custody lawyers will help protect your rights without it ending up in a lawsuit.