Child Custody

Overview

When a husband and wife seek an annulment, legal separation or divorce, a court will decide which parent has custody of the couple's minor children. A court may order that one parent has sole custody of the minor children or that both parents share joint custody of the minor children.

Physical custody refers to the right of a parent to provide daily care for a child. If both parents live nearby, physical custody may be divided on a weekday/weekend basis. If the parents do not reside near each other, then the couple or the court must come up with an alternative arrangement.

Legal custody refers to the responsibility of a parent to make major life decisions regarding a child's upbringing, such as those concerning medical treatment and education. If both parent's share joint legal custody, than one parent must consult the other regarding these decisions.