For the majority of Florida parents who divorce, their main concerns typically revolve around the well-being of their children. This can make child custody one of the most contentious and complicated aspects of the divorce process. Sometimes, parents get confused or overwhelmed about the different types of child custody. Here are the primary types of child custody arrangements in Florida.
Legal versus physical custody
Understanding the difference between legal custody and physical custody is important. Legal custody refers to the parent’s right to make important decisions on behalf of their kids. These are usually decisions concerning their children’s medical care, education and/or religious upbringing. When a parent has primary physical custody, it means the children physically reside and live with that parent.
Sole custody means only one parent has custody of the child. A parent can have either sole legal custody and even sole physical custody of the children. However, courts in Florida today are often reluctant to grant sole custody and are more in favor of keeping both parents involved in the children’s lives.
Joint custody is probably the most common type of child custody arrangement. It typically means both parents have some type of involvement in the lives of their kids. Joint custody can be joint physical custody, joint legal custody or joint physical and legal custody.
It is normal for parents to be confused when dealing with child custody arrangements. Fortunately, there is help available for parents in Florida who have questions or want to know more about child custody. An experienced and knowledgeable family law attorney can offer legal guidance and advice relative to the client’s specific situation.