Legal Counsel You Can Count On

What’s the difference between legal and physical custody?

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2020 | Divorce

Divorcing parents in Georgia usually need to work together to set terms for a parenting plan. You probably already know that you want to play an active role in the lives of your children after the divorce, but you may not have all the information you need to assert your wishes.

For example, did you know that there are two different kinds of child custody that the courts split up during a divorce? You don’t want to make the mistake of only asking for your fair share of one of those two kinds of custody.

Georgia parents have to find ways to split both physical and legal custody

When people think of child custody, physical custody is what usually comes to mind. They think about who spends time with the children and who provides them with food, shelter and daily support.

Physical custody is absolutely important, and having a fair share of physical custody protects your relationship with the kids. However, legal custody is also important. Legal custody involves your ability or right to make decisions on behalf of your child.

What does shared physical custody usually look like?

In a shared physical custody arrangement, parents will exchange the children on appropriate days, which means the children will rotate between staying with both parents. The specifics differ from family to family, as the age, number and needs of the children all influence the best solution.

How do parents learn to share legal custody?

In some ways, sharing legal custody is a lot more complicated than sharing physical custody. The courts can give you specific days and times when you make custody exchanges, but they can’t prearrange how you can resolve disagreements about decisions for your children.

You and your ex will need to find a way to communicate effectively about the details of your children’s lives, discuss upcoming decisions, ranging from medical care to educational choices, and then find a way to compromise and work together so that you can reach mutual agreements on major decisions.