If you are separating from your spouse or partner, then you have a lot on your plate. However, child custody can often be an extremely divisive issue, which means that it demands your attention. To help you get through this process, here are some types of child custody, one of which might be perfect for your situation:
Sole vs Joint
First of all, you will need to figure out whether sole or joint custody would be better for your child (or children).
Sole custody is often the better choice when one parent is abusive or doesn't want any part in the life of their child, but it can be extremely hard to secure sole custody if both parents desire custody.
Joint custody is common because it allows both parents to play a role in the life of their child, and there are quite a few different ways that it can work.
For instance, parents might want to alternate custody evenly, but that isn't always possible, especially if the parents live too far apart. That can often place a strain on the child and their education. It's more common for the custody to be split unevenly, with one parent having custody for a few weekends a month of a few days a week. In these cases, the primary caregiver of the child is often given the lion's share of custody.
Types of Custody
There are also different types of custody that you will need to consider. Aside from physically having the child live with you, there is also the matter of legal custody, which involves decisions made on behalf of the child.
Physical custody is often split more unevenly than legal custody, for the reasons listed above. Legal custody is frequently shared between parents, and that can lead to a much more amicable separation. If you both feel that you have a say in the future of your child, you might be less likely to squabble about the minutia.
Enforcing split legal custody is often a bit more complicated than the idea though. While the terms of your separation might indicate that both parents have a say in the schooling and medical care of the child, the parent that currently has physical custody could make a decision without the consent of the other parent. If this does happen, then the latter parent may actually take the former to court, on the grounds that the terms of the separation have been violated.
When planning the custody battle for your child, you should make sure that you keep their interests in mind. It's easy to lose sight of the bigger picture when you spend all day fighting over this piece of property and that piece of property, but the future and happiness of your child should be your top priority. For further assistance, contact a local custody lawyer.