This blog recently discussed that joint custody is the preferred default for child custody decisions in Kentucky, but it is worth taking a look at the different types of child custody. This knowledge will help parents understand how child custody is determined and what they can expect from a child custody arrangement. In general, child custody decisions are always made based on the best interests of the child.
There are two general types of child custody, including physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody refers to who the child lives with. In circumstances when joint physical custody is awarded, the child will live with both parents and go back-and-forth between homes. If there is a reason for concern, such as domestic violence in the home, one parent may be awarded sole physical custody. Depending on what is in the best interests of the child, the other parent may have visitation rights in those circumstances.
The other type of child custody is legal custody. Legal custody refers to which parent has the authority to make important decisions for the child related to their upbringing, medical care, education and religious training. Like physical custody, legal custody may be sole or joint. If legal custody is shared, the parents will have to work together to make decisions for the child.
Child custody can be a challenging and understandably emotional concern for parents and children alike, which is why the family law legal process provides resources to help families through the process. It is helpful for parents to understand the child custody process and the different options available, which will help them reach a child custody agreement that is best for their children and their family.