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What are the Different Types of Child Custody?

Child custody is often one of the most contentious issues associated with a divorce. Sometimes, a couple cannot agree on a child custody and visitation arrangement, and they may need the help of a mediator to settle the issue.

When discussing child custody, the first distinction that must be established is between physical (or residential) custody and legal custody. Physical custody concerns which parent the child lived with on a daily basis. Legal custody concerns which parent (one, the other, or both) has input into the decision-making process concerning major issues affecting the child.

The different types of child custody options include:

  • Sole Custody. Sole custody was once the most common type of custody, but in recent years, sole custody has given way to joint legal and shared physical custody arrangements. In sole physical custody arrangements, the child resides almost exclusively with one parent. In sole legal custody arrangements, one parent is afforded the exclusive right to make decisions on behalf of the child without the need to consult and confer with the other parent.
  • Joint Custody. In joint legal custodial arrangements, both parties are permitted to offer input on major issues affecting the child, such as their education, medical care, and religious upbringing. In joint legal custody arrangements, the parents must consult and confer with one another before any decision is made. In joint legal custody arrangements, the primary residential custodian is given the final say over such decisions when an impasse is reached.
  • Split Custody. This type of custody is applicable for couples who have more than one child. In split custody, each of the parents is awarded the custody of at least one of their children. Whether they have biological children or legally adopted children, each will be given the custody of at least one child.
  • Nesting. This can be defined as a divided custody. In such an arrangement, the child stays in a home. The parents come to meet the child alternatively. They move in and out of the home based on the schedule. Bird nesting custody requires substantial cooperation between the divorced couple. A bird nesting custody is rarely successful.

No matter which type of child custody you wish to apply for, the experienced New Jersey child custody lawyers at Moskowitz Law Group, LLC can help you. Our attorneys can give you advice, guide you through the entire process, and help you seek the best outcome possible.

Contact our Bergen County divorce attorneys today if you need help with a child custody matter.