December 28, 2023

8 Types of Custody Arrangements and Their Meanings

In an ever-changing world, various types of custody arrangements for children have emerged. Recently, I worked on a case where the individual lacked an understanding of custody options and implications.

Child custody refers to the legal arrangement determining which parent or guardian has the right and responsibility to care for a child after a divorce or separation. To assist you in making an informed decision, I’ve compiled a list of the types of custody arrangements along with a short explanation.

custody arrangements

  1. Sole Custody: One parent is granted primary custody, and the child lives with them most of the time. The non-custodial parent usually has visitation rights or scheduled parenting time.
  2. Joint Custody: Both parents share the responsibility for decision-making regarding the child’s upbringing and major life choices. This can include joint legal custody (decision-making) and joint physical custody (time spent with each parent).
  3. Physical Custody: This refers to where the child resides and spends their time. It can be sole physical custody (child lives primarily with one parent), or joint physical custody (child splits time between both parents’ homes).
  4. Legal Custody: This pertains to the right to make significant decisions about the child’s life, such as education, healthcare, religious upbringing, and other important matters. It can be sole or joint legal custody (either one parent or both parents are responsible for these decisions).
  5. Bird’s Nest Custody: In this arrangement, the child remains in the family home, and the parents take turns living there so the child’s living situation remains stable. This approach aims to minimize disruptions for the child.
  6. Split Custody: If there are multiple children involved, split custody involves each parent having primary custody of a particular child. This arrangement isn’t common, and can have complex emotional implications.
  7. Parallel Parenting: This is a form of co-parenting commonly used in high-conflict situations. Each parent has significant time with the child, but they maintain separate responsibilities and decision-making without much direct interaction.
  8. Third-Party or Non-Parent Custody: In some cases, custody may be granted to a grandparent, relative, or another trusted individual if both parents are deemed unfit or unable to provide proper care.

The above explanations are provided to help you understand the basic idea of the choices you might have, and what they mean when it comes to taking care of a child. If you find yourself in a real life separation, it is best to speak to a divorce attorney about your options.

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This material is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal or tax advice and is not intended to replace the advice of a qualified attorney or tax advisor. This information is not an offer or a solicitation to buy or sell securities. The information contained may have been compiled from third party sources and is believed to be reliable.

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