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Child custody: Physical custody, joint custody, legal custody

When it comes to divorce, there are many decisions that need to be made. Perhaps one of the most important decisions revolves around child custody issues. There are a number of child custody arrangements that Connecticut parents may face.

The most common type of child custody is physical custody. Physical custody simply refers to which parent physically retains custody of the child. In other words, which parent will the child live with? If the child will primarily reside with only one of the parents, then this is referred to as sole physical custody. If the child will alternate between homes and parents, then this is referred to as joint physical custody.

Another type of custody revolves around who can make important decisions for the child. This is referred to as legal custody. If only one parent is charged with making the important decisions regarding where the child will go to school, what type of medical treatment the child will receive etc., then this parent is the one with legal custody. Many times, the Connecticut courts believe that it is in the best interest of the child for both parents to be involved in the decision making process. In this case, they will then share joint legal custody.

There are both positive and negative aspects to each type of child custody arrangement. Ultimately, the option chosen will depend upon the parents and the child. Whenever possible, the courts want to make it possible for the child to maintain a relationship with both parents. Additionally, they typically want both parents to remain actively involved in the child's life.

Source: FindLaw, "The Various Types of Child Custody", Accessed on Dec. 2, 2016

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