Legal Custody vs. Physical Custody in a FL Divorce
Work with a Jacksonville Child Custody Lawyer
If you're currently facing a
divorce or you have already begun the process, determining the custody agreement
for your children will be one of the most important items on the agenda.
There are many different types of
child custody arrangements. These arrangements differ from case to case and vary depending
on the circumstances of every divorce. First, it is important to understand
the difference between legal custody and physical custody.
Legal custody is the type of custody that allows a parent to make important
decisions in the life of their child such as where they will go to school,
what doctor they will go to, etc. Physical custody refers to the actual,
physical custody of your children. A parent who retains physical custody
will live under the same roof as their child.
Factors that Determine Custody
The family court or the mediator assigned to your case will be responsible
for evaluating a number of different factors in order to determine which
custodial agreement will prove to serve the best interests of the children.
Listed below are some of the more common variables that determine custody:
- The occupation of both parents
- The expendable income both parents are able to provide
- The relationship both parents have with the children
- Whether or not either parent has a criminal history
- The mental and physical state of both parents
Again, these are just some of the possible determinative factors when it
comes to a custodial agreement.
Speak with a Jacksonville divorce and child custody lawyer from our firm if you have additional questions regarding how child custody
is determined and what you can do to help your case.
Joint and Sole Custody
In addition to the physical and legal custody distinction, there is also
a distinction made between joint and sole custody. Like it sounds, joint
custody means that parents share the custody of their children while sole
custody means that only one parent retains full custody of their child
while the other parent may or may not be granted visitation. Joint custody
can be granted in the case of both physical and legal custody just as
sole custody can. Below is a breakdown of these custody arrangements:
Joint Physical Custody: This custodial arrangement involves both parents sharing physical custody.
While this does not necessarily mean that each parent will have even time
with their children, it does mean that the children will live at each
parents' residence at different times.
Joint Legal Custody: This custodial arrangement involves both parents sharing legal custody.
Sharing legal custody means that both parents have a say in the important
decisions that will affect the lives of their children.
Sole Physical Custody: This custodial agreement involves only one parent being awarded the physical
custody of their children. This means that, with the exception of potential
visits with the non-custodial parent, the children will solely be residing
with only one parent.
Sole Legal Custody: This custodial agreement involves only one parent being awarded the legal
custody of their children. The parent who is granted sole legal custody
will be the only parental authority able to make major decisions regarding
their children's welfare.
Custody agreements can be complex. You want to present yourself in just
the right way to be granted the custody arrangement that is most beneficial
for you and your children.
To build a strong case in your favor,
contact a Jacksonville child custody attorney from the Law Offices of Jason K.S. Porter, P.A. today.