Understanding Primary Physical Custody: What It Means for Divorced Parents

primary physical custody

It’s unfortunate that around 690,000 couples divorce each year in America.

This transition can be tricky, especially when children are involved. One of the most important issues that divorced parents need to address is child custody.

What are the different kinds of custody that parents should know about? Read on for our full primary physical custody guide.

What Is Child Custody?

Every parent going through a divorce must understand what child custody means. Child custody is how the law shapes the relationship between a parent and their child. Legal custody involves having the right to make decisions about the child’s upbringing, including the following:

  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Religious upbringing

Physical custody, on the other hand, pertains to where the child will live on an everyday basis.

Understanding Primary Physical Custody

When we talk about primary physical custody, we’re referring to a custody arrangement where one parent has the majority of the physical time with the child.

This means that the child lives with one parent most of the time, while the other parent may have visitation rights or parenting time according to a schedule that either both parents or the court have approved.

Primary vs. Full Custody

Having primary physical custody doesn’t always mean that the parent has full custody. Full custody often includes both legal and physical custody rights.

In some cases, a parent could have full custody. This means they have both legal and physical custody of the child. The other parent can have visitation rights or supervised visitation.

Roles of Custodial and Non-Custodial Parents

In the context of primary physical custody, the parent with primary custody is often referred to as the custodial parent. This parent takes on the responsibility of looking after the child each day. This includes providing the following:

  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Shelter
  • Other necessities

They also make decisions about the child’s daily routine and activities. The non-custodial parent, on the other hand, often has visitation rights or limited parenting time with the child.

This makes it possible for the child to keep their relationship with the other parent, even if they don’t live together. Visitation schedules can change a lot based on the divorce circumstances and the child’s best interests.

Determining Legal Custody Arrangements

When determining custody arrangements, the court considers several factors, including the following:

  • The child’s relationship with each parent
  • The stability of each parent’s home environment
  • The child’s needs
  • How well each parent can provide for those needs

The primary concern of the court is always the best interests of the child. Talking with a family law attorney can help you fill in any blanks you may still have about your rights.

Understanding Primary Custody Is Essential for Divorce

For divorced parents, understanding primary physical custody is essential for navigating the challenges of co-parenting after divorce. It’s crucial for both parents to communicate well and work together to ensure that the child’s needs are met.

Do you think that this primary physical custody guide is handy? Dig deeper into the rest of our blog posts to find more fantastic content.

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