Legal custody involves exercising the right to make important decisions about your child’s life, including medical, education, religious and energy. Physical custody is simply being in a position to physically monitor your child on a regular basis. This can be done by living in the same house as them or by having one’s own residence nearby. Here are some key differences between legal custody vs physical custody:

Legal Custody

Legal Custody is obtained when the parents of a child who is under age 18 at the time of the divorce agreement file for it with a court of law. The child must also live with his or her parent for at least part of the year in order for this custody arrangement to be valid. If your child cannot live with you and you live somewhere else, it does not constitute legal custody. This custody arrangement entitles the parent to decisions about your child’s well being. The parent also has the right to obtain an Education IRA for your child and use their Social Security number. This does not mean that you are entitled to receive your child’s Social Security check, however.

Physical Custody

Physical custody is merely having the means of physically guarding one’s child from a distance, without having the legal power to make decisions regarding the child’s well being. If a custodial parent cannot physically control his or her child, it does not mean that the parent is not in physical custody.

Legal custody provides for a parent to have the ability to make decisions about their child’s life, including medical, education, religious and energy. Physical custody does not provide this right. Legal custody simply means that your choice as a parent will be respected by the court system.

Reasons Why You May Need a Lawyer for Legal Custody Attorneys

A divorce can be a very emotional and difficult time. You may see the need to consult with an experienced family law attorney if you are going through a divorce or planning one in the near future.

Why would you need an attorney in such a situation?

If your spouse has initiated the divorce proceedings against you, you may feel that your spouse is being unfair in some way. You may feel that your spouse wants to remove you from the life of their child.

You do not have to deal with the divorce process alone confronting a spouse who is acting in a very unpleasant manner. There are laws that allow for verbal harassment and other actions which are unwanted by one party or another as a way of initiating a divorce case. You need to know that your spouse is not being fair and has the means to initiate a divorce case against you.

Your needs may be very specific and the divorce process may become complicated. If you have children, then your focus should be on obtaining custody of the children as well. When you are going through a divorce, it is important to make sure that you are thinking clearly and able to make sound decisions which respect your rights as well as those of your spouse.

By educating yourself about legal and physical custody before you decide to go forward with a divorce, you can better prepare yourself for the emotional as well as financial impacts of this process. Those parents who have attained a degree of custody of their children want it to continue uninterrupted. Because of this they always need to ensure that everything is in its place since a moment’s delay could cost them their hard-earned rights over their children.