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What Are The Different Types Of Child Custody?


Child custody is a complex issue in any divorce, and the different elements of custody can be confusing for parents who simply want the best for their child during this process. In Williamson County, the knowledgeable divorce lawyers at Fort, Holloway, & Rogers are here to help with your child custody matter and every other issue involved in your divorce. To learn more, call or contact our office today to schedule a consultation.

Temporary and Permanent Custody

One aspect of child custody is the differences between temporary and permanent custody. When a divorce petition is first filed with the court, a parent can request temporary custody of a child while the divorce is ongoing. The judge can award temporary custody and determine a temporary parenting schedule during divorce proceedings. It is important to note that permanent custody does not have to reflect the terms of temporary custody.

Permanent child custody is the agreement made between the parents in a parenting plan or a ruling made by the court on the custody of the child once the divorce is finalized. Permanent custody is set in stone unless one parent appeals the decision or files a petition to modify the custody arrangement.

Sole and Joint Custody

Another element of child custody is the determination of sole or joint custody of a child after a divorce. The court in Tennessee presumes that parents should share joint custody of a child unless one parent can show the court why the other should not be given that responsibility. With joint custody, both parents share time with the child and make decisions about the child’s upbringing. If the court determines that one parent is not fit to spend time with their child or have decision making authority, it can award sole custody to one parent. The child lives with the parent full-time, and the parent with sole custody makes all choices about their care.

Physical and Legal Custody

The final elements of child custody are physical and legal custody. Physical custody refers to where your child physically resides. With sole custody, that parent retains full physical custody, but in joint custody situations the parents share physical custody. The parent who spends more physical time with the child is known as the custodial parent, and the parent who has less physical custody is known as the noncustodial parent.

Legal custody refers to a parent’s ability to make decisions about their child’s wellbeing and upbringing. This includes decisions about the child’s schooling, religion, medical care, extracurriculars, and more. With sole custody, the parent with custody retains all decision-making ability about the child’s care, and with joint custody the parents share in the decision making concerning their child.

Talk to Our Office Now

Are you interested in talking to an experienced legal professional about your child custody case? If so, the experienced Franklin divorce lawyers at Fort, Holloway, & Rogers are here to help. Call the office or contact us now to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today.

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