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Child Custody & Visitation

Who Gets Custody of the Child?

Child custody is based on the best interest of the child.

Physical Custody

Physical custody is with whom the child primarily lives with.

  • Sole Physical Custody: the child lives primarily with one parent
  • Joint Physical Custody: the child divides time between both parents.  Joint physical custody modifies child support

Legal Custody

Legal custody is regarding who makes the major decisions for the child. These type of decisions deal with medical, educational, and religious decisions. Legal custody also includes issues such as consenting to a driver’s permit, joining the military before the age of majority, and working underage. Legal custody does not affect the amount of child support given to the custodial parent.

If one parent has custody, What kind of visitation does the other parent have?

Generally the parent that does not have custody has reasonable visitation with the child. Visitation that exceeds 143 days per year is said to be extensive visitation. In some cases, a specific schedule is planned out but in other cases, the specifics of visitation are left to the parents to agree on.

Supervised visitation is an arrangement where another party must supervise the parent with visitation. Supervised visitation may be ordered where the non-custodial parent poses a potential harm to the child and may be unable to properly care for the child. The third party supervising the visiting parent might be a relative or family friend.

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