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Joint, sole, physical and legal custody options to think about

Child custody is a very serious matter because it can impact the entire future of a child. When parents are going through a child custody battle, they must think carefully about how each decision will impact the child. One important thing that they have to determine if they are trying to work things out through collaborative methods or mediation is what type of custody model is going to be used.

Typically, parents have to decide whether the child custody arrangement is a sole custody or a joint custody arrangement. The vast majority of cases utilizes a joint custody model.

Now that you know whether you are going to have sole or joint custody, you need to determine physical and legal custody arrangements. Physical custody arrangements means you figure out who is going have the child when. Oftentimes, this is shared so that the child can see both parents on a regular basis.

Legal custody refers to which parent will make major decisions about the child. These include decisions about what type of education the child will have and what types of medical care the child will accept.

In many cases, parents will have joint physical and legal custody. This means that the child spends time with both parents and that both parents take the time to make decisions they feel are in the best interests of the child.

No matter what type of child custody model and arrangement you and your ex work out, make sure that you keep the focus on your children. This can help you to ensure that you are complying with the child custody order.

Source: FindLaw, "The Various Types of Child Custody," accessed June 23, 2017

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