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Divorcing fathers: Understand the many types of child custody

When you are getting a divorce, you may have some concerns about your future. More specifically, you're worried about matters of child custody.

It's easy to believe that the court will favor your ex-wife when making child custody decisions. Even so, there are steps you can take to put yourself in better position. This all begins with learning more about the many types of child custody.

Sole custody vs. joint custody

Sole custody is not common, but it is something that many divorcing mothers look into. With this, one parent alone has legal and physical custody of the child. The noncustodial parent does not have any type of custody, but may receive visitation rights.

Joint custody is the opposite of sole custody. This is a shared legal custody arrangement, even if one parent has physical custody.

What is legal custody?

If a parent receives legal custody of a child, it means that they have the court approved right to make important decisions regarding the child. This can include things such as religion, education, health care and extracurricular activities.

Note: In most divorce cases, both parents share legal custody.

What is physical custody?

This is simple to understand: If you are divorced, if your minor child lives in your home, you have physical custody.

Although it's not always the case, most courts typically award physical custody to one parent. In this case, the other parent has visitation rights.

The key to making this arrangement work is setting a visitation schedule. With this, even if you don't have physical custody, you're still in position to spend time with your child, such as on the weekends or during the summer months.

As a divorcing father, you want to learn as much as you can about child custody. With this information in mind, you'll have a better idea of how the court process will unfold and what you can do to protect your rights.

The court will always do whatever is in the best interest of the child, but you also need to make decisions to ensure that you will remain a big part of your child's life in the future.

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