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There are two types of custody: physical and legal. Legal custody essentially means decision-making ability. During the marriage, both parents exercise all custodial rights. These include decision-making power over all aspects of upbringing, religion, and education, as long as the parental decisions and conduct stay clear of neglect or abuse. Upon divorce, the person with sole legal custody then makes all of the decisions necessary in their lives. You can consult the other parent and you should try to do so, but in the event, you cannot agree or in the event, you choose not to consult, you are free to make the decisions. Note that the Courts, if so requested, are always available to review a decision that has been made to ensure that the decision is in the best interests of the children. Joint legal custody essentially means that each parent has an equal say in making significant decisions affecting the lives of their children. If parents have agreed to share joint legal custody, then they have essentially agreed to set aside their personal differences to effectively co-parent their children. If parents are unable to agree on the issue of custody, then the Courts will make that decision for them.

Physical custody relates to a legal right to have your child permanently reside with you in the same household and be responsible for your child while he or she is residing with you. If one parent is awarded physical custody then another parent most likely will be awarded visitations. If parents cannot agree on a visitation schedule, one will be provided by the Court. It is possible to have shared joint physical custody. In that case, the child will spend half the time living in the household of one parent, and another half living with another parent.