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For childless couples, divorce can be relatively straightforward. When a couple has children, numerous issues related to their children must be determined as part of their divorce settlement, including child support and child custody.
There are two aspects to a child custody arrangement: legal and physical custody.
Legal custody is the responsibility of a parent to make determinations about a child’s care on the child’s behalf. This includes the right to make decisions about the child’s medical care and his or her education.
Physical custody is the responsibility of providing a home for a child. This includes the costs of utilities, the cost of a house large enough to comfortably provide the child with shelter, and access to household goods.
Both types of custody can be held jointly or solely. When parents have joint legal or physical custody, they share the responsibilities of that type of custody. When one parent has sole custody, he or she makes all associated decisions regarding it alone. It is possible for a child to have a custody arrangement that involves both, such as joint legal custody with one parent having sole physical custody.
Child custody is often determined using a recommendation by a Friend of the Court, a professional whose role is to examine a child’s lifestyle, relationships with his or her parents, and personal needs to ascertain a custody arrangement that is in his or her best interest. Aspects of a child’s life that the Friend of the Court may consider to make this recommendation include:
To learn more about child custody and determine what you can expect according to your circumstances, speak with an experienced family attorney. Contact our team of family attorneys at Iafrate & Salassa, P.C. today to set up your initial consultation in our office. We are here to provide compassionate, goal-oriented legal guidance and counsel to divorcing parents like you.