One of the most important and often most tumultuous discussions and decisions to be made during the process of a divorce is regarding a child’s custody. It is not uncommon for each parent to have very different opinions as to who should be granted child custody. It is important to recognize the distinctions and differences between physical custody and legal custody.
Physical custody generally comes in two forms, joint custody and sole custody. If, in the viewpoint of the courts, both parents show a willingness and ability to work together in raising the child equally or close to equally and if both parents live close to one another, joint custody may be awarded. Otherwise, one parent is rewarded sole physical custody, while the non-custodial parent is generally granted visitation rights.
If it is believed that one parent is unfit to be a parent, the courts may also award the custodial parent sole legal custody. This means that all decisions regarding the health and upbringing of the child is determined by the custodial parent. This may include medical decisions and decisions regarding the child’s religion.
Parents want what is best for their child, and taking into consideration that a divorce occurs when spouses are unable to live together or make mutually agreeable decisions, it should not come as a surprise when a dispute arises when determining child custody. When entering a court of law, it is important for you to protect yourself and your beliefs by arming yourself with strong representation to maximize the potential of obtaining a favorable outcome.
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Partner at John F. Schutz, P.L.
Representing clients exclusively in family law cases for the past 24 years, Mr. Schutz is widely regarded as a marital and family law expert. He is Board Certified in marital and family law by The Florida Bar. As a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), Mr. Schutz is committed to elevating the standards and improving the practice of family law.
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