Choosing the Right Custody Option

by | Nov 21, 2015 | Law


Latest Articles



Divorce is difficult. It can become even more complicated when parents are trying to figure out a child custody arrangement. There are several options to choose from, and it can be difficult to know which option is best. The best option is different for everyone, as it is dependent on the specific circumstances of the people involved. Following is a basic overview of some of the more common custody options.

Physical custody
Physical custody simply means that a parent has the right to have a child/children live with him or her. Many parents are awarded joint physical custody, which means that that the children spend a significant amount of time with each parent. This arrangement works well when both parents live near each other.

Legal custody
When a parent has legal custody of the children, it means he or she has the legal right to make important decisions regarding the children’s upbringing. Some of the issues a parent with legal custody can make decisions on include schooling, medical care, and religious upbringing. Legal custody can be granted to either one or both of the parents.

Sole custody
Sole custody is generally granted to one parent if the other parent is considered to be an unfit guardian of the children due to a substance abuse problem or others issue that can interfere with responsible parenting such as child abuse or neglect.

Joint or shared custody
Joint custody occurs when each parent has equal say in making decisions that affect the children, but the parents no longer live together. This type of custody can exist if the parents are divorced, separated, in they no longer cohabitate, or if they never cohabitated. There are three types of joint custody: joint legal custody, joint physical custody, and joint legal and physical custody. Regardless of the type of joint custody, the court will determine the living arrangement that is in the best interests of the children.

Split custody
This type of custody arrangement is uncommon. It exists when one parent has custody of some of the children, and the other parent has custody of the others. A court system will generally not grant this type of custody unless it is clearly in the best interests of all of the children.

Bird’s nest custody
In a bird’s nest custody arrangement, the children remain in the home and the parents take turns living there. This situation is beneficial because it is less disruptive for the children. However, it can be expensive and can be quite disruptive for the parents. This type of custody works best if each parent has another guaranteed place to stay when they are not living in the home.

There are many factors to consider when determining the best custody arrangement. Having a full understanding of all of the options is just the first step. If you are a parent seeking the best custody arrangement for you and your children or are simply interested in divorce law in Grove City, contact a qualified and reputable family law attorney who can help you make the right decision and answer all your questions.