If you have children and are planning to divorce, then you may come across the terms “physical custody” and “legal custody.” But what exactly do they mean?
Legal custody relates to the responsibility and right to make decisions related to your child’s religion, when he or she can drive a car, and other matters. If you and your ex have joint legal custody, both of you can make these decisions.
Physical custody refers to the parent with whom the child lives. If you and your spouse have joint physical custody, then the child lives with each parent based on the terms of a residential plan.
If you are considering divorce in Arizona, or if you and your spouse cannot agree on custody matters, contact the Zachary Law Group, P.L.C. Steven Zachary is a Chandler divorce lawyer who can answer your questions and represent your interests.
Mr. Zachary is considered among the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Lawyers. Call 480-389-3533 today to schedule a free case evaluation.
In the meantime, read on to learn more about legal and physical custody:
Legal Custody Overview
As previously mentioned, a joint legal custody agreement allows both parents to make important decisions for the child. As WomensLaw.org explains, this is not the case with sole legal custody, wherein the custodial parent makes all of the important decisions.
In Arizona, joint custody is more common than sole legal custody. However, if a judge delivers a custody ruling, the arrangement will reflect the best interests of the child. If one parent has a history of physical or sexual abuse, drug use or criminal activity, the judge may award sole custody to the other parent. In most cases, both parents will have access to the child’s school and medical records – even if one parent has sole legal custody.
Physical Custody Overview
In most situations, one parent will have primary physical custody. This simply means that the child spends most of his or her time in that parent’s residence.
If the parents have joint legal custody, the details of the physical custody arrangement will be outlined in the residential plan, which is part of the parenting plan. However, if one parent has sole legal custody, then the other parent’s interaction with the child is usually referred to as visitation.
If you and your spouse cannot agree on a legal or physical custody arrangement, a family attorney may be able to help. Your divorce lawyer can answer your questions and serve as a mediator for you and your spouse.
Steven Zachary is a Chandler divorce attorney who can help you navigate the legal system. As a mediator, Mr. Zachary will provide neutral, objective recommendations based on Arizona laws and his experience.
Unlike other divorce lawyers, Mr. Zachary offers flat-rate fees with no hidden charges. He can evaluate your case and protect your financial and personal interests. Schedule a free case evaluation today by calling 480-389-3533.