What are the various terms for child custody and what do they mean?
Legal Terms Relating to Child Custody
If you are going through a divorce and you have children, you will hear certain legal terms relating to the custody of your children. In order to prepare you for court and continued discussions with your attorney, below are some of the most often used terms relating to child custody:
1. Legal Custody: The rights and responsibilities of parents to make decisions relating to the health, education and welfare of their children.
2. Joint Legal Custody: Both parents share in the right and responsibility to make decisions relating to the health, education and welfare of their child.
3. Sole Legal Custody: One parent has the right and responsibility to make decisions relating to the health, education and welfare of their child.
4. Physical Custody: The parent with whom the children live; how much time the children spend with each parent; how day-to-day responsibilities are fulfilled.
5. Joint Physical Custody: Children spend a significant amount of time with each parent.
6. Sole Physical Custody: Children reside primarily with one parent and have visitation with the other parent.
7. Visitation: Time that a non-custodial parent has the children and is responsible for them.
8. Supervised Visitation: Visitation is limited to situations in which a third party, specified by the Court is present. Supervised visitation may occur when there is a need to protect children because of drug or alcohol abuse, child abuse or neglect; family violence, or other serious problems, or when children are getting to know an absent parent.