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CHILD CUSTODY FAQ #2

2. What are the types of custody orders?
Legal custody can be:

  • Joint, where both parents share the right and responsibility to make important decisions about
    the heath, education and welfare of the children.
  • Sole, where only one parent has the responsibility to make the important decisions about the
    health, education and welfare of the children.

Some examples of the decisions or choices parents with legal custody make are:

  • school or childcare
  • religious activities or institutions
  • psychiatric, psychological, or other mental health counseling or therapy needs
  • doctor, dentist, orthodontist, or other health professional (except in emergency situations)
  • sports, summer camp, vacation, or extracurricular activities
  • travel
  • where to live

Physical custody can be:

  • Joint, which means that the children live with both parents.  
  • Sole or primary, which means the children live with one parent most of the time and usually
    visit the other parent.  

Sometimes, a judge gives parents joint legal custody, but not joint physical custody. This means both
parents have share the responsibility in making important decisions in the children’s lives. But, the
children live with one parent most of the time. The parent who does not have physical custody usually
has visitation with the children.


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