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Understanding the Different Types of Child Custody

Luff Strenfel LLP May 15, 2018

Divorce cases are often filled with financial stress and emotional tension. These issues between spouses can only become more aggravated when children are involved. During a divorce case, children are often confused about why they would no longer be living with both of their parents, and why they only get to see one parent a certain amount of time each month. For this reason, child custody can be one of the most complex aspects of a divorce case.

To add to the complexity, there are two main categories of child custody: physical and legal. Physical custody refers to where the children will live following a finalized divorce case, whereas legal custody concerns whether one or both parents will have a say in the children’s rearing including decisions about education, medical care, and religious upbringing.

What Types of Child Custody Are Available?

A judge will determine the most appropriate type of child custody in a given divorce case and may award one or a combination of the following custody options.

  • Sole physical custody

  • Joint physical custody

  • Sole legal custody

  • Joint legal custody

  • Guardianship or non-parent custody

Depending on the financial, physical, and mental health of each parent, the judge will decide which type of child custody is in the best interest of the children. The non-custodial parent may also be given visitation rights during this process.

Would you like to speak with an experienced Pennsylvania family law attorney about your child custody case? Reach out to us at LHS Law to schedule your free consultation.