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What are the different types of child custody?

When Michigan couples divorce, one of the most important things they consider is how it will affect the children. To allow children to keep seeing each parent as often as possible, they may work out a joint custody arrangement if the divorce is amicable. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and there are times when one parent must fight to keep the child with them. This is when it is important to understand the different types of custody.

According to FindLaw, the parent with physical custody is the one that provides for the children on a day to day basis and is often determined by state law. It is almost always true that the parent with physical custody will have the child living with them.

With joint custody, both parents are responsible for the child’s welfare. Joint custody can refer to joint physical custody, which determines where the child lives. Joint legal custody is when both parents have the right to make major decision such as choice of schools, religious education, health care and extracurricular activities.

Legal custody gives one parent the ability to make any long-term decisions about the child. Those with sole legal custody of their child can make decisions related to housing, medical care, religion and schooling without input from the other parent. You may choose to include the other parent in the decision-making process, but the law does not require you to do so.

The decision of who has custody of the child and what type is determined by the courts. Most decisions are made with the best interests of the child in mind, and the court may even specify grandparent visitation and deal with cases of absent or abusive parents.

This information is intended for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.