There are two categories of child custody: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the right of a parent to make decisions regarding the child's health, education, and welfare. In most cases, the parents share in the right to make these decisions and therefore share joint legal custody. Physical custody refers to the amount of time the child is physically with each parent. Custody schedules can vary significantly depending on the particular circumstances of each case. When one parent has more than a 50% timeshare with the child, he or she is considered to have primary physical custody and the other parent is deemed to have visitation.
When ruling on child custody and visitation issues, the Court will determine what is in the best interest of the child. The Court will consider a variety of factors such as the age of the child, the child's schooling, any special needs of the child, the parents' work schedules, the distance between the parents' homes, child care availability, the level of cooperation between the parents, and other factors. The outcome of any particular case is highly dependent on the circumstances specific to that family.
Some popular custody schedules include:
1. Alternating weeks.
2. One parent has every Monday and Tuesday, the other parent has every Wednesday and Thursday, and the weekends are alternated between the parents.
3. One parent has Wednesday overnight every week in addition to every other weekend. The children are with the other parent the rest of the time.
LAW OFFICE OF
DEBORAH A. PERKINS