Winning your child custody battle will be a pyrrhic victory if you do not understand the different types of child custody that may be awarded.
There are essentially five types of child custody that may be awarded in your child custody battle and it is clearly important to understand what is possible and to better instruct your legal advisors.
1. Physical Custody
Physical custody at it's simplest determines where the child will live on a day to day basis.
This does not mean that the non custodial parent might not have a share of legal custody and if the other parent is sharing legal custody then he/she will be legally entitled to share in all major decisions regarding the child's upbringing.
2. Joint Custody
Joint custody is where both parent share the amount of time spent with the child. Courts are reluctant to order joint custody as they prefer to see the child have a stable, permanent base.
3. Legal Custody
Legal custody gives a parent the right to make the important decisions in relation to the child's upbringing, education, medical treatment and so on. Unless it is shown that a parent is uncapable of being a fit parent, perhaps through alcohol or drug abuse, then in most cases both parents will share legal custody.
4. Sole Custody
This is where one parent has physical and legal custody of the child.
5. Joint Legal And Physical Custody
This basically involves both parents sharing both physical and legal custody of the child. Most states will try to award this type of custody unless there are circumstances or issues which prevent them from doing so.
Clearly the permutations will require you to instruct your legal advisor properly at the outset. It is critical that you learn as much as you can to do so and give yourself the best opportunity of a successful outcome to your child custody battle.
It is important to have a basic understanding of all of the principles and concepts in child custody law so that you 1) know what is going on and 2) can instruct your attorney properly.
Child custody disputes are difficult enough without not informing yourself and giving yourself the best chance of success for all concerned, particularly your child. Remember the work you do now in educating yourself can pay massive long term benefits in securing a healthy and respectful and loving relationship with your child.
Always keep your child's interest at the forefront of your mind as child custody dispute resolution should not be a matter of trying to get one up on your former partner-rather it should be about arriving at an agreement that is best for all concerned with the child being the ultimate winner.