Going through a divorce or separation can be a stressful time, and one of your biggest concerns will likely be related to creating a stable and safe environment for your children. Divorce can be a very big change in a child's life, so making sure that you have all of the groundwork covered for the transition is extremely important.
What is physical custody?
Most of the time, physical custody is granted to only one parent. The physical custodian is the parent that spends the most time with the child physically. It is possible for the custody to be divided equally between both parents, however.
What is legal custody?
Legal custody, if granted to both parents, is shared equally and is a right rather than a guideline. Both parents, if legal custodians, will have the right to know information about their children and make certain important decisions in relation to them.
What factors do the courts consider when deciding on custody agreements?
The courts always aim to position themselves in a place that takes the interests of the child into consideration more than anything else. This means that if they believe that the child will be happier with one parent, or if they are old enough to express their own wishes, this will be taken into account.
If you are starting to embark on a child custody settlement, you should take the time to look into how the system works, and ask yourself what type of agreement you would like to achieve. Having open communication with the other parent usually sets the scene for a successful process.
Source: Findlaw, "Child custody basics," accessed Oct. 27, 2017