The Various Types of Child Custody

The Various Types of Child Custody

The Various Types of Child Custody

Having a child is one of the most significant moments in a person’s life. There’s nothing more heartwarming than hearing a little one laugh or watching them play. Yet raising a child isn’t always smiles and playtime. Matters can become incredibly complicated when parents or guardians are figuring out custody. This article will overview the various types of child custody, so people know what their options may be.

Legal Custody

Legal custody means that one person has the right to make legal decisions on behalf of the child. For example, if the courts award a father legal custody of his kid, he gets to decide where the child goes to school, as well as make decisions about the child’s medical care. Most states, like Washington State, offer joint legal custody. Joint legal custody means that both parents must make legal decisions regarding their children. Legal custody can sometimes relate to physical custody. Physical custody pertains to who the child can live with. Like legal custody, physical custody can be split between parents.

Sole Custody

Sole custody means that one person is granted full guardianship of a child. This could be a parent or an extended family member. Sole custody is usually awarded because the other parent is deemed unfit. If there are substantiated claims of abuse or if the parent cannot provide for the child, then a judge is likely to grant sole custody to the other parent. If someone wants to fight a judge’s decision of sole custody, they must be able to prove that they can provide a safe environment for their child.

Joint Custody

Joint custody is what’s granted in most child custody cases. If both parents can provide a safe living situation to their kid, then a judge will likely award joint custody. Though there are stipulations, typically both parents must live close to each other. Ultimately, the courts want the child’s life to change as little as possible. If you’re going through a collaborative divorce in Washington State, please contact LaCoste Family Law today. We’ll work with both parents to create a co-parenting plan that has everyone’s interests in mind.

It’s important to understand the various types of child custody so you can determine what’s best for your situation. If you work with the skilled team at LaCoste Family Law, we’ll make sure your child is at the forefront of every decision the courts make. We want to help guide you through this difficult journey in any way that we can.