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How are physical and legal custody different?

How are physical and legal custody different?

Many decisions are made during the divorce process. Marital issues need to be resolved before the divorce is declared to be final. Child custody arrangements are a major decision that need to be made in order to prepare for the children’s lives after their parents no longer live together. Through this arrangement, it can decide who the children spend more time with or if their parents have legal rights over them. For these cases, custody is arranged into physical and legal custody. Parents are given certain rights based on these chains of custody.

Physical custody names one parent as the custodial parent. This makes them the main guardian for the child. With this role, it means that the child will reside with this parent on a regular basis. Although the child may be able to spend time in their other parent’s home, the custodial parent is the one that they will see more of the time. Legal custody refers to the ability to make decisions for your child. When parents are given this right, they can decide on important issues for the child’s well-being. This can include the child’s education, religion, medical treatment and more. With this role, the parent can still be given authority over their child’s life even if they are not named as the custodial parent.

What happens if my former spouse fails to follow custody arrangements?

Custody arrangements are court orders, meaning that they must be followed by each spouse. Otherwise, spouses may prove to be in contempt of court and jeopardize their custody of their children. Parents must follow these arrangements or they may face penalties. If your former spouse is not cooperating with the agreement that was made, you have the right to file a motion with the court. The judge can review the case and figure out a final decision. Your former spouse may face consequences for their inability to cooperate.

Arrangements can be changed when parents are in need of it or if children are. Whether your former spouse is failing to adhere to them or there are other life interferences, you can enter into court to get your current custody arrangement modified. Since new circumstances can arise, this can be beneficial. The judge will always consider the health and safety of the child first. If the health or safety of the child is being compromised due to the current arrangement, this is another reason that can lead to a modification.

Stone Crosby, P.C. has proudly served clients in Alabama for over 100 years. Our firm has experience handling matters including divorce and family law, estate planning and administration, business law, employment law, class actions, consumer protection, business law, real estate law, among many others. If you require quality legal representation, contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.

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