If you’ve recently been separated or divorced, you may not have considered the various forms of child custody that are available to your family. Custody arrangements are extremely important since they can help you and your children establish a routine for your life again. If you’re a Tennessee resident, here is some information about custody that will help you make the best decision for your family.
Legal custody is a type of child custody that gives the custodial parent the power to make major decisions for the child(ren). Custody allows parents to determine where children will attend school and which religion they will practice. Custody also determines how the children will receive medical care.
Sole legal custody is when a parent with sole custody can make decisions for the child without permission from the other parent. Joint legal custody indicates that both parents have the legal right to make choices on behalf of their children. It is important to keep in mind that parents can have joint legal custody even if both parents don’t have physical custody.
Physical custody is a type of child custody that determines where the children will live most of the time. The parent who has the children in their care most of the time has “residential custody.” If a parent has sole physical custody, the child will live with that parent only. The non-custodial parent will receive visitation rights in most cases.
If the parents have joint physical custody, also known as shared custody, the children resident with one parent for a period of time then go to the other parent for another period of time. Children will spend approximately the same amount of time at each parent’s home, i.e. the children spend three days with one parent and three/four days with the other parent.
Some parents also implement bird’s nest custody, which is when the children stay in one home and the parents rotate living in the home to care for the children. Each family should determine which custody arrangement is in the best interest of the children.