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Child Custody: Joint vs. Sole. Physical vs. Legal

Grewal Law PLLC

One of the most impactful results of a divorce is the child custody arrangement between two ex-spouses. Child custody takes several different forms, including joint, sole, physical, and legal.

Our Michigan family law attorneys discuss the differences between each type of arrangement below.

Joint Custody

Joint custody, also known as shared custody, allows both parents to share decision-making responsibilities for the child. When parents have a joint custody arrangement, they work out a schedule to have the child live with each of them at different times.

A common pattern is for a child to spend one week with one parent, and the next week with the other parent.

Sole Custody

Sole custody occurs when only one parent is allowed to make decisions on behalf of the child and have the child live with them. Generally, the court will not hesitate to award sole custody to one parent if the other parent is deemed unfit to parent.

Often, however, many states that award sole custody to one parent will allow generous visitation time to the other parent to ensure the child builds and maintains relationships with both parents.

Physical Custody

The physical and legal custody of a child are two different things. Physical custody of a child gives a parent the right to have the child live with them. The parent with whom the child lives most of the time is considered the “custodial” parent.

Legal Custody

Legal custody of a child gives a parent the right to make decisions about the child’s upbringing. This may include decisions about the child’s education, religion, and more. The courts will typically award legal custody to both parents, even if the child does not live with one of them.

Family Law Issues? Contact Us Today

If your ex-spouse is not cooperating with your child custody agreement, or you would like to renegotiate your agreement, we’re here to help. At Grewal Law PLLC, we will bring decades of experience to your family law case and help you achieve an outcome that benefits you and your child.

Contact us today at (888) 211-5798 to schedule a free consultation.

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