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Child custody is a complex and often emotional process for a couple going through divorce. If you have children, you must address it. Visitation and custody is a point of confusion for some couples and it is a common mistake that people assume a custodial parent has full custody all the time and a parent with weekend visitation has no claim to custody. If you are confused about child custody and visitation distinctions, check out our general information on the subject.

Joint Custody: How Much Time Does Each Parent Get With Their Children?

The ideal situation is joint custody, meaning: both parents are involved in major decisions about the child’s life as well as communicating thoroughly about how to raise them. However, it is not always possible if one parent is deemed unfit. Sometimes joint custody means that both parents share legal custody and one may have physical custody, in rare cases, both parents split both down the middle. A parent with non-custodial designation usually has a visitation schedule.

Having joint legal custody allows both parents to discuss aspects of raising their children together. Although one parent may have a larger portion of physical custody, both parents can choose major life decisions for their children without one parent having more say than the other. They will make decisions regarding schooling, medical care, and other major life obstacles.

What Other Options Are There for Custody Arrangements?

Here is a general guide to the different types of custody arrangements:
Physical custody is assigned to the parent the court believes would best provide a living situation for the child. It is rare to have a 50-50 arrangement because it isn’t easy to pull off. The parent that holds physical custody is considered the primary parent and the other is the secondary.
Legal Custody is easier to share because it revolves around making major decisions for the child and it is usually best to have both parents involved in that process.
A parent awarded sole custody has both legal and physical custody and the secondary parent may or may not have visitation. This is a rare situation but it usually occurs when one parent has a history or charges of substance abuse or child abuse and/or neglect.
As with any legal troubles, you should always contact an experienced family law attorney for specific questions.
An attorney can be helpful in any of these custody situations and it doesn’t hurt to have an experienced helping hand. This may be a difficult process for all those involved, but it can be easier with help. Call a family law attorney today for legal options and advice regarding your unique situation such as the child custody attorney Phoenix AZ locals trust.

Thanks to authors at the Hildebrand Law Office for their insight into Family Law.