If a marriage with children is legally ended by divorce, things like access, time and legal responsibility for the children – ‘custody’ – must be decided. Custody arrangements include physical custody, parental visitation rights, and legal custody.
Physical custody arrangements define where the children will reside; this could be with one parent or both, if proximity allows normal routines and schooling. Physical custody may affect visitation; if children live solely with one parent, the other may have the right to visitation or parenting time.
Legal custody includes the right (and obligation) to make decisions about schooling, medical care, religion and other upbringing choices. Legal custody may also be jointly shared by both parents, or solely awarded to one. Custody arrangements frequently affect financial responsibility arrangements, such as child support. Custody decisions can be complicated, and legal advice is frequently required.
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