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Sole-custody vs. joint-custody: Which is best?

Going through a divorce involving children can be extremely complicated. Not only is it difficult to come to an agreement with your spouse about property division, child support and alimony, but it can be hard to determine whether you should file for sole-custody or joint-custody of the children. It is important to keep in mind that there are two types of custody, physical and legal. Parents may get sole or joint physical or legal custody. Physical custody determines whether the children will reside with one parent or equally between both parents, while legal custody determines whether one parent or both parents will be responsible for making critical decisions regarding the child’s healthcare, education and religion.

Some studies show that joint-custody may be best for children, as they are able to spend a significant amount of time with both parents. Children who have active mothers and fathers in their routine life are generally better adjusted than those who reside with one parent most of the time. Yet, joint-custody is not ideal in every situation. Children who have an abusive parent or who has parents that live far apart from one another may fair better in a sole-custody arrangement. In this situation, the child would reside with one parent most of the time and the non-custodial parent would have visitation rights.

No matter what type of custody is chosen, it is most important to base the decision off of the best interests of the child. Ideally, you will be able to raise your child together with your spouse in a fair and positive manner.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.

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