How are physical and legal custody different?

When divorces are being finalized, child custody arrangements may need to be made. For these cases, the child’s best interests should always be in mind. Although the parents may be going through a difficult time due to their divorce, the child is experiencing mixed emotions as well. Divorce can be hard on children. It is important to recognize any signs of changed behavior. The custody arrangement that is made can have a big impact on them. When parents cooperate with one another and act amicably, they may be able to ease the child’s transition. Whether a parent acquires physical or legal custody, they are still able to be involved in their child’s life.

Physical custody grants one parent as the custodial parent. This role means that the child will reside with this parent on a regular basis. Although the child may be able to spend time in their other parent’s home, the custodial parent is the one that they will see more of the time.

Legal custody refers to the ability to make decisions for your child. When parents are given this right, they can decide on important issues for the child’s well-being. This can include the child’s education, religion, medical treatment and more. With this role, the parent can still be given authority over their child’s life even if they are not named as the custodial parent.

What if my former spouse fails to follow the custody arrangements?

Custody arrangements are considered to be court orders. This means that they are legally binding. Parents must follow these arrangements or they may face penalties. If your former spouse is not cooperating with the agreement that was made, you have the right to file a motion with the court. The judge can review the case and figure out a final decision. Your former spouse may face consequences for their inability to cooperate. They may even be held in contempt of court since they failed to follow a court order. By failing to follow custody arrangements, parents can jeopardize their relationship with their child since they may not be given as many rights as their guardian.

Custody arrangements have the ability to change. Whether your former spouse is failing to adhere to them or there are other life interferences, you can enter into court to get your current custody arrangement modified. Since new circumstances can arise, this can be beneficial. The judge will always consider the health and safety of the child first. If the health or safety of the child is being compromised due to the current arrangement, this is another reason that can lead to a modification.

Paris P. Eliades Law Firm, LLC is honored to serve the people of New Jersey, including Sparta, Sussex County, Morris County, Passaic County, and Bergen County with the quality legal services they deserve. Contact our firm for a consultation today.