What Is Child Custody, and Are There Different Kinds of It?

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“Child custody” is a legal and practical connection between a parent and their child. Care and control of the kid are included in custody when parents have it. Naturally, the child’s biological parents make all choices relating to the child’s housing, healthcare, education, and religious upbringing. All of these problems, however, may become problematic if couples split. Conflicts over custody and raising of a child are resolved via child custody legislation and litigation. To learn more about this idea, go to ohio-family-law.com. This website is owned and operated by Lawrence Law Office, a divorce and family law firm in Ohio, and has a lot of good information about child custody.

If you have young children and are divorcing, one of the problems you will have to deal with is child custody. Custody may be classified as Legal, Physical, or Joint, or a combination of these.

Most of the time, parents select who gets to raise their child. The courts have no say in the matter. However, there are exceptions, such as when parents cannot agree, and the court must step in. With the divorce finalized, the court must decide how custody is divided between the two parents. When a “custody war” occurs, the court must decide.


There are many legal terminologies bandied around as parents navigate the minefield of child custody rules, and as a result, many get lost. So, if parents cannot agree on anything, the court decides legal and physical custody, visitation, the ability to attend a child’s activities, and even financial assistance. Custody arrangements imposed by the court are typically included in the divorce decree, but they may be changed if the situation changes.

Joint custody is the favored option in all jurisdictions because the courts believe it is critical for children to maintain contact with both parents and to be parented by both of them. Other preparations may be required, though, depending on the situation. According to the ruling, the child will reside with one parent, spend equal time with both parents, have significant decision-making authority over the child, and pay for the child’s upkeep.

1. Possession And Control

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It is known as “physical custody” when one parent has the right to have their kid reside with them permanently. Joint physical custody may be awarded in certain jurisdictions if the kid spends substantial time with both parents. Children will be less stressed and able to maintain more of a regular schedule when their parents share physical custody.

Both parents are entitled to visitation or parenting time with their kid, even if the youngster lives with just one parent solely or predominantly. This arrangement is typical when children live primarily with one parent and have visitation with the other.

2. Custody In A Legal Sense

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It implies having the right and the responsibility to make choices regarding a kid’s upbringing when a person has legal custody of a child. In the case of a parent who has legal custody, the decision-making authority extends to all aspects of their child’s upbringing. Parents who have children together are frequently granted shared legal custody in many countries. Check this post to know how child custody works in Australia.

If you have joint legal custody but one parent is excluded from decision-making, your ex may take you back to court and ask the judge to enforce the custody agreement.
The only thing that will happen is an embarrassment and a deterioration in your relationship with your partner, which may endanger the children. Aside from that, retaining an attorney will almost certainly be prohibitively costly.

Sole legal custody may be requested in court when one parent refuses to speak with you about essential issues or is abusive, making it difficult for the two of you to have joint legal custody. If you reside in one of these states, you will have to persuade a family court judge that joint legal custody is not in your child’s best interests.

3. Sole Possession Of The Child

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A kid may have exclusive legal custody if one parent has that authority or sole physical control if the other does. Suppose a parent is judged unfit, such as alcohol or drug addiction or allegations of child abuse or neglect. In that case, courts will not hesitate to give exclusive physical possession to the other parent.

There is a growing trend in state courts to extend the role both parents play in their children’s lives rather than awarding sole custody to one parent. It’s uncommon for courts to give one parent sole physical custody while still granting the other parent a liberal visiting schedule. A parenting agreement or program may provide that one parent has primary biological control. In contrast, the other has visiting privileges, while in these circumstances, shared decisions regarding the child’s upbringing will be made by the parents.

You and your soon-to-be ex-spouse may have resentment against one another. However, unless the other parent harms the children, it’s better to avoid requesting exclusive custody. Even if this is the case, courts may nevertheless authorize supervised visitation with the other parent.

4. Shared Parental Responsibility

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Joint custody is a legal term used when parents who do not live together share decision-making and physical control and custody responsibilities for their kids. There may be joint custody even if the parents have divorced or are separated or are no longer cohabiting, read more here.

Possession of a child with a partner may be:

  • co-parenting in the legal sense.
  • Physical custody is shared equally by both parents.
  • Legal custody is shared equally by both parents.

Find out what your state’s laws are regarding Child Custody: Best Interests of the Child.


The rules and terminology used in child custody cases differ from one state to the next, making things more complicated. The interpretation of your divorce order’s language will depend on how the final decree reads regarding child custody and specific state laws.
I’d advise any divorcing parent to familiarise themselves with their state’s child custody rules, so they know what to anticipate.