Legal vs. Physical Custody

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Legal Vs. Physical Custody

After considering relevant factors that a Judge must take into account when awarding child custody, the Court may award any of the following types of custody if it is in the best interest of the child:

1) Shared physical custody;

2) Primary physical custody;

3) Partial physical custody;

4) Sole physical custody;

5) Supervised physical custody;

6) Shared legal custody;

7) Sole legal custody.

Legal custody involves the concept of which parent may participate in making important life decisions about the child. For example, where the child will attend school, what decisions need to be made for health care, or what religion the child will be exposed to. Shared legal custody is most often awarded, even if the parties do not share physical custody.

Physical custody deals with where the child will live. In cases where parents can co-parent effectively and live close to each other, many parents try to work in a shared custody environment. This essentially provides for both parents to have physical access to the children. Primary physical custody provides that one party will have physical access to the child more than the other, meaning the other party has partial physical custody. This can also be a common arrangement if it is in the best interest of the child due to their school schedule or other factors that may be taken into consideration. Sole physical custody is typically awarded in cases where one parent is proven not to be able to provide well for the child’s emotional and other needs. There may be a history of criminal activity, abuse, or substance abuse. Such cases can be difficult and emotional. It is possible when one party has sole physical custody that the other may have supervised physical custody, where an adult monitors the interaction between the party and the child.

To learn more, call 724-304-4604 and arrange to meet Robert Galbraith at his North Hills office in Wexford. Robert will also travel to the South Hills or the Monroeville area to meet with clients as well. You may also contact the Pennsylvania law firm via E-mail.