Determining who gets to keep the children is one of the biggest sticking points during a divorce proceeding in Florida. Unfortunately, fighting over child custody can take a toll on both parents emotionally. It can also be burdensome for the children involved, no matter how old or young they may be.
A few different types of child custody exist for parents and guardians. If two parents are able to create their own parenting agreement in Louisiana, they can decide together how the custody of the children will be handled. Otherwise, a court will make that determination based on what it deems to be in the best interests of the child.
Physical custody of the children
A commonly known type of custody is physical custody. A parent who has physical custody of the children reserves the right to keep the children at his or her home. In some cases, joint physical custody is possible if both parents live close by. If the parents do not have close living quarters, the amount of stress that the children would face by having to travel back and forth between homes might play a role in the awarding of physical custody to just one of the parents.
Sometimes the court determines that sole physical custody is an appropriate arrangement for a family. In this situation, the children live mostly with one parent, and the other parent gets to see them during visits. For instance, the children may live with the father each day and then visit the mother for just a few hours every so often.
Legal custody of the children
When a parent has legal custody of the children, he or she has the authority to decide about important matters, such as the children's health and education. This includes deciding what school they will attend and what type of health care treatment they should get. The parent can also determine how the children will be raised — for instance, the religion they will practice.
In some cases, joint legal custody is awarded, which means both parents must work together to jointly decide how to rear their children. A knowledgeable attorney in Florida can help you understand the state's complex laws regarding custody of your children. With your attorney's help, you can aggressively pursue an outcome that ensures that your children's needs are a top priority.