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What do physical and legal custody mean for parents in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Mar 24, 2021 | Child Custody |

Custody of your children could be your main focus in an upcoming divorce. You want to preserve your relationship with your kids and try to make the divorce as easy on them as possible. Understanding how the law works and your rights as a parent will make it easier for you to navigate the family court system in North Carolina.

Typically, the courts presume that shared custody will be best for the children. You will have the right to ask for shared custody. The courts can choose to split up both legal and physical custody in your divorce. Knowing the difference between the two can help you push for the best possible outcome.

Physical custody is basically time with your kids

The form of custody most people focus on during divorce is physical custody. It involves parenting time and the obligation to provide financially for your child. When the courts order shared custody, parents will have to rotate in their responsibilities to the children in the family.

Legal custody is the right to make important decisions

Being a parent isn’t just about showing up and providing food and shelter. It also involves giving your children guidance and making decisions on their behalf that they’re too young to make.

Legal custody typically involves the authority to make medical, educational and religious decisions on behalf of your children. Some parents don’t ask for a share of legal custody, which might mean that they don’t get to influence crucial decisions about the future of their children.

Asking for both legal and physical custody in a divorce will ensure that you remain an active parent and have shared influence with your co-parent when it comes to the person that your child becomes.