One of the hardest things about divorce is the impact it will have on your relationship with your kids. Not only will your kids likely have some behavioral issues, but you simply won’t get to see them as frequently.
The courts often determine how much parenting time you have and when you get to see your children. Sharing custody with your ex is never easy, but you can make it easier by being realistic about your expectations.
Understanding the different kinds of custody in an Indiana divorce or paternity case will make it easier for you to advocate for your parental relationship.
Legal and physical custody
When some people talk about custody, what they refer to is the obligations and responsibilities of parents toward their children and the rights that come along with fulfilling those obligations.
Parents have an obligation to provide for the physical needs of their children and get to enjoy the presence of their children and the joy of watching them grow in return. When it is your time to be physically present with the children and meet their needs, you have physical custody of them. When they stay with your ex for the weekend, your ex is the one who has physical custody.
Legal custody involves your right to make decisions about your child’s body and life. Legal custody what parents make decisions about education, health care and even religion.
Sole or joint custody
The judge presiding over your divorce or custody case will try to make a decision about who receives parenting time and parental authority in the divorce. Most of the time, judges prefer arrangements with joint or shared custody.
These situations involve each parent having a certain amount of parenting time every month and mandatory contributions to the child’s life. In sole custody arrangements, a judge determines that it would be in the best interest for only one parent to be physically responsible for the children or to have the right to make major decisions on their behalf.
When you understand the kinds of custody available, it is easier to strategize about protecting your relationship with your kids in your divorce.