In cases where divorcing spouses share children, they will have to address the question of who receives custody. If you are unsure of the types of custody arrangements available to you, this can leave you feeling rather confused and uneasy as you enter these negotiations. Here is what you need to know about child custody to understand how it might affect you and your children as you move forward:
- Sole Custody: This type of custody is not as straightforward as it might sound. First, it is important to know that there are two types of custody – legal and physical. Sole custody can refer to one or both of these. What is the difference? Legal custody gives parents the right to make major decisions in the lives of their children, including religious upbringing, medical treatment, and extracurricular activities. Physical custody is exactly what it sounds like, referring to where the child will live. A parent can potentially have sole physical custody, but share legal custody with an ex-spouse, forcing them to collaborate on making major decisions together on behalf of their children.
One can also have sole legal custody, which means only one parent will be able to make major decisions on behalf of the children. Generally, the court needs a compelling reason to award legal custody to only one parent. For example, if you and your spouse have a particularly contentious relationship and a judge cannot foresee the two of you effectively co-parenting, he or she might award legal custody to one parent.
- Joint Custody: It is also possible to share physical and legal custody with your ex-spouse. If you only share legal custody, this means you will have to work together to raise your children, consulting one another on medical care, education, religion, and other important events. If you and your spouse are unable to agree on some decisions, you might have to go back to court to overcome it. Ex-spouses can also share physical custody, which means the children will have to alternate between both homes, spending an equal amount of time with each parent.
Manchester Child Custody Attorneys
At Sekella Law, PLLC, our team of family law attorneys understand the difficulties families face when they go through the process of divorce. With the guidance and support of one of our Manchester attorneys, we can help you create an effective plan of action that protects the interests of you and your children. We will provide a straightforward, no-nonsense approach and provide the advice you need during this difficult time.
Contact our office today at (603) 686-7229 to schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable member of our team.