Child Custody, Divorce
What are the Five different types of child custody?
The phrase child custody tugs at the heart of all family lawyers and everyone it touches. What is best for the children? If you and your significant other can’t work that out, seek qualified legal advice before you have that hurtful blow up with the kids watching.
Your attorney can help ease your concerns.
Sole Legal Custody
is when the courts give one parent the full authority to make decisions for the child’s welfare. This includes everything in the child’s life from education, healthcare to everyday activities. The courts normally prefer this living arrangement as it is the most stable. Generally the child is not bouncing back and forth between parental arguments, or in the case of an absentee parent. One parent needs to be there for the child.
Joint Legal Custody
is when both parents agree to make major joint decisions for the children. Meaning that both parents are required to stay in a constant healthy communication with each other. This parenting style provides the children with a chance to manage their own life, without witnessing conflicting decisions the parents could have otherwise.
Sole Physical Custody
this is when one parent keeps the child in one location so the child can have a regular routine in life. The other parent typically has regular visitation rights so the relationship remains strong with the children.
Joint physical custody
This decision is the normal result in a custody negotiation or decision by the trial judge. Most often, the parents are each granted joint legal custody. However, one parent is granted primary physical custody and the other parent is granted secondary custody or visitation rights. The degree to how the time is split can be negotiated or ruled upon by the trial judge, depending upon the circumstances of each case. The child stays with either one of the parents on a regular basis for extended or short periods. Giving both parents an opportunity to be actively involved in the child’s life.
Third Party Custody
in this case the children will remain with a third party that is not a biological parent. That person will have sole custody, the laws and rules regarding third parties getting custody of children have been expanded greatly over the past 10 years, due to advances in case law and other factors. Third party custody can involve custody gained by a grandparent or by other third parties who have a significant relationship with the child, akin to a parent/child relationship. Third parties can often seek custody where one or both parents have either neglected the child or have acted inconsistent with their parental duties. The advances in NC case law now open the door for more third parties to seek rights, including partners, who have lived with a parent, and have acted in a parental role while living with the child. Attorney Mike Edwards has been involved in hundreds of third party cases.