How are physical and legal custody different?

Before divorces are finalized, child custody arrangements may need to be made. For these cases, the child’s best interests should always be first and foremost in mind. Although parents may be going through a difficult time due to their divorce, the child is experiencing mixed emotions as well and uncertainty about their family’s future. Divorce can be hard on children since they may not be able to comprehend the full extent of it. It is important to recognize any signs of changed behavior that are present in the child. The custody arrangement that is made can have a big impact on them and how they react. When parents cooperate with one another and act amicably, they may be able to ease the child’s transition. Whether a parent acquires physical or legal custody, they are still able to be involved in their child’s life.

Physical custody gives one parent the title of custodial parent, meaning that the child will reside with this parent on a regular basis in their home. 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. The non-custodial parent may be given visitation rights or parenting time. However, this depends on a case by case basis since all aspects of the parents’ lives and family are taken into account to decide what is best for the child. 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 if my former spouse fails to follow custody arrangements?

Custody arrangements are court-ordered agreements. This means that they are legally binding and they must be followed. Parents must follow these arrangements or they may face penalties in retribution of their lack of cooperation. 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. They may even be held in contempt of court since they failed to follow a court order. By failing to follow custody arrangements, parents can jeopardize their relationship with their child since they may not be given as many rights as their guardian.

Our firm proudly serves clients throughout Rockland County, New York when they require compassionate and effective legal guidance. If you require experienced legal representation for any of your divorce and family law matters, contact the Law Offices of Mark S. Paige, P.C. today to schedule a consultation.