Sole Custody: One parent is given complete decision-making authority and has complete control over access to the child. The custodial parent may choose to provide the noncustodial parent access, and may even set up a time-sharing schedule, but it will not be legally enforceable, and the noncustodial parent has no legal recourse if access is revoked, other than to legally seek modified custody arrangements. This is very similar to what an unmarried couple experiences prior to taking responsibility for the child through child support and filing for father’s rights.
Joint Physical Custody: With joint physical custody, both parents have equal or similar physical time with their child, as well as shared and equal decision making responsibilities. This is the most common custody arrangement between two competent, responsible parents, as most courts see the value of a healthy relationship with both parents.
Joint Legal Custody: Joint physical custody may not always make sense, such as when parents are geographically separated. However, both parents are still invested in the assuring that the needs of the child are met, and that the right decisions are made regarding the child’s future. This is common with military divorce and with parents who have abnormal work schedules or are required to travel frequently for work.
With all family law matters, it is best to go into custody hearings with a firm plan for what you want to happen. Being prepared is the best way to get favorable results. For dedicated representation and support, trust the divorce and custody lawyers at Dodge & Vega, PLC as your Mesa child custody law firm of choice.