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Legal Custody vs. Physical Custody


The process of establishing custody of your children in a divorce is an emotionally charged and difficult time that can consume enormous amounts of energy, especially when you don’t have the assistance of skilled legal representation. Making difficult decisions about how a child will be raised in the wake of a divorce is never easy, but finding the right solution quickly and effectively through efficient legal proceedings can mean a world of difference for the emotional well-being of your children, as well as ensuring that your rights as a parent are protected and well represented.

At Diggs & Sadler, our experienced attorneys have extensive familiarity with the legal realm of custody issues. We can help you to fully understand your rights as a parent and how different custody arrangements will affect your life with your children following the separation. To learn more about your options and how to most effectively create a positive parenting situation for your children, call us today at (713) 766-5355.

What Is the Difference Between Physical Custody & Legal Custody?

Many individuals make the mistake of assuming that physical custody of a child entails full and exclusive rights to their upbringing, but this is actually not the case. Physical custody is just that – custody in the sense that the child physically resides with their custodian. Physical custody is most frequently shared equitably between the two parents, although in some situations sole physical custody may be granted to one parent with visitation rights assigned to the other.

Legal custody, on the other hand, is the intrinsic right of a parent to make parenting decisions regarding their children. This can include having the right to make decisions about issues such as:

  • Schooling
  • Medical care and procedures
  • Religious upbringing

Even when a parent is not granted physical custody of their child, they retain the right to share in major parenting decisions regarding the upbringing of their child unless specifically denied this right by the court. This will typically only occur when the custodial parent demonstrates that the other parent is unfit for legal custody due to an unwillingness to communicate, abusiveness, or other extreme issues.

Contact Us to Discuss Legal vs. Physical Custody for Your Situation

The custody of children is frequently among the most contentious and important issues to parents engaged in divorce proceedings, and it is essential that you fully understand your rights and options with regards to the future upbringing of your children. For a consultation to discuss the details of your case with an experienced lawyer, call Diggs & Sadler today at (713) 766-5355.

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