What is the Difference Between Physical And Legal Custody?

What is the Difference Between Physical And Legal Custody?

When a couple goes through a divorce, it changes the lives of the entire family. During this time, spouses are required to reach agreements on several new arrangements for their futures. If the spouses have children, a large part of their divorce proceedings may surround child custody. Custody arrangements determine the parent with whom a child spends most of their time. It also establishes the amount of influence a parent is allowed in their child’s life. If a couple cannot reach these agreements on their own, the court will make the decision for them. There are different custody options that may be decided upon during a divorce.

Physical Custody

An important part of custody arrangements is determining where the child will reside. This is covered by physical custody. This type of custody decides which parent the child spends the majority of their time and lives with. It is because of this that the parent is known as the custodial parent or the main guardian. It is important to know that even though the child lives with this parent, they will also spend time in the non-custodial parent’s home.

Legal Custody

Parents should understand the concept of legal custody when they are going through a divorce. Legal custody is important and covers a different part of life than physical custody. Parents should still fight for legal custody even if they do not have physical custody.

Legal custody gives a parent the right to make decisions that impact the child’s life. This allows them to take part in the decision-making for matters such as health care, academics, religious practices, and more. Legal custody lets the non-custodial parent have a say in the big decisions throughout the child’s life. Having this right can also be beneficial in the event that the custodial parent wants to move with their child. It allows the non-custodial parent to speak up and object the relocation if they wish to do so.

How is Custody Determined?

If parents go to court to determine custody, a judge will make the final decision. This is done with the child’s best interest in mind. The judge considers several factors regarding the parents and their child before they come to a decision. This may include:

  • If the parent will act in the child’s best interest
  • If the parent can provide a stable home
  • The relationship between the child and each parent
  • Any history of abuse
  • The needs and safety of the child
  • The preference of the child if they are of sufficient age

Contact our Firm

If you or a family member is going through a divorce and seeking legal representation for child custody, contact The Pollack Law Firm, P.C. today.

The Pollack Law Firm, P.C., rated Nassau County’s “BEST” divorce lawyers and proudly serving clients in Nassau and Suffolk County for more than 22 years, is always available to assist and represent parties in divorce, separation and all other matrimonial and family law matters. Call today to schedule your complimentary case analysis: (516) 938-3330.

Read Our Latest Blog Posts

  •  Does New York Have Permanent Alimony?
  •  Can Children Express Preference in New York Custody Proceedings?
  •  What Should My Prenuptial Agreement Cover?