What Types Of Custody Are Available?
When you divorce or separate, your children are likely your primary concern. The custody and visitation portion of your case affects how you and your child will arrange your lives for years to come. There are several types of custody considered by the court.
Legal custody determines whether one or both parents will have the legal authority to make important decisions about the child. These include decisions about education, religion and medical matters. Legal custody can be sole (meaning only one parent has the legal right to make these decisions) or joint (both parents must work together to make these decisions as a team). Connecticut courts generally prefer joint legal custody because it gives both parents a voice in the child’s upbringing. However, if you and your ex are absolutely not able to cooperate at all, sole legal custody may be the best option.
Physical custody has to do with how the child spends time with the parents. Sole physical custody means the child only sees and spends time with one parent. This is an unusual situation and is generally only ordered in cases in which there has been abuse or neglect, substance abuse, or a demonstration that one parent is completely unable to adequately parent or keep the child safe.
Physical custody is usually ordered as joint, meaning the parents both share time with the child. Often, one parent is the residential parent, meaning the child has a home base at that home, spending the most time there. The other parent, called the non-custodial or non-residential parent, has visitation or parenting time with the child at scheduled times. True joint or shared custody is also an option, where both parents have a 50/50 split of time.
If you are considering or are involved in a custody case, call Rutkin, Oldham & Griffin for sound advice and strong representation.