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Questions about Shared Physical Custody Law

Child custody laws can be quite confusing at times. When a couple either separates or divorces the term custody and its laws can raise many questions. What type of custody can the parent be awarded by the court? What are the differences between different types of child custody? How can a parent get shared physical custody? The laws on child custody can lead to these and many other questions. Below are the most common questions about shared physical custody, answered by Family Lawyers on JustAnswer.

What is shared physical custody

When dealing with custody between two parents there are normally two types of custody, joint custody and physical custody. Joint custody is where two parents share the decisions on raising the child, and shared physical custody is where the child lives with one parent majority of the time, and the other parent receives visitation time. Parents are able to make their own agreement on joint custody that can be any combination of either shared physical and joint legal custody.

If someone has physical and legal custody does that mean they have sole custody of a child?

Physical custody normally determines where the child lives. Some other terms that also describe this may be ‘’primary residence’’, ‘’primary custody’’ or ‘’majority time-sharing’’. Physical custody is different from parental responsibility which generally means ‘’legal custody”. Legal custody is where parents make the decisions for the child with respect to schooling, religion, medical care, and other activities. It is very rare for a parent to receive sole custody of the child unless one has proven that the other parent has physically abused the child.

Are there any advantages when parents share physical custody on future child custody arrangements and disagreements?

Shared physical custody normally does not award either parent with advantages when dealing with future custody issues. What shared physical custody does is that it allows both parents to work together and form a connection between parents and the child. Usually, the only circumstances where the court might be willing to change the agreement is if one parent is proven unfit. As the child gets older, the child's needs grow, the court may grant physical custody to one parent if that is seen to be in the best interest of the child.

If someone has a history of domestic violence, what are their chances of getting shared physical custody?

In cases of violence chances of gaining custody are usually not very good. While granting child custody, the court keeps the best interest of the child in mind, and determines the placement of the child. Shared custody is where both parents can come to an agreement without an argument about the placement of the child. When dealing with domestic violence, one parent can try to seek control over the other parent. In such situations, the court will not usually place the child with the parent with a history of violence, because of the possible emotional impact on the child, especially if the child has witnessed the violence.

In a shared physical custody case, if one parent was charged with theft what are the other parent's chances of receiving full custody of the child?

If the interested party can show that the charges affect the capability of the other patent in caring for the child, and that it is not in the best interest of the child for the other parent to have joint custody, then full custody may be awarded to the interested parent. The court believes that both parents should have a role in the life and upbringing of their child. As such, if the charged parent was not placed in jail or if the court feels that it may not adversely affect the child’s life, it may not rule in favor of sole custody.

Shared custody is when both parents receive the rights and responsibilities of raising and caring for their child. Child custody is one on the many issues that often follows a divorce or separation. Custody rights are awarded by the family court and are decided based on many factors. The best interest of the child is usually the most important of the factors that the court considers. When needing answers and insight on custody matters you can ask Family Lawyers on JustAnswer for their legal insights and assessment of your case.
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