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Understand your child custody options

On Behalf of | Dec 9, 2023 | Child Custody

If you’re going through a divorce and have children, then you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse may need to have a child custody agreement. Child custody agreements determine each parent’s physical and legal custody. 

Physical custody establishes each parent’s role in maintaining a routine with their children, such as where they live on a day-to-day basis. Legal custody determines each parent’s right to direct their children’s upbringing, such as where they go to school, their medical needs and dietary restrictions. 

There are a few options you may have as you discuss child custody with your spouse. Here’s what you should know:


If both parents want to be involved in their children’s lives, they may agree to joint custody, also called co-parenting. Co-parenting means each parent shares some legal and physical rights over their children. Co-parents can discuss what they feel is important for their children, such as private school or a religious upbringing, and expect the other parent to participate. Communication between co-parents is often frequent so each is informed about any changes in their children’s lives. 

Parallel parenting

If parents struggle to communicate but still want involvement in their children’s lives, then they may agree to a parallel parenting plan. Parallel parenting gives each parent some physical and legal custody, but it limits how often parents communicate. Communication could be reduced to texts and emails, which can limit arguments and maintain their children’s well-being.

Sole custody

If one parent doesn’t want to be involved in their children’s lives or their involvement would disrupt their children’s well-being, then sole custody may be given. Sole custody gives one parent the majority of legal and physical rights. The other parent may not be involved or they may have some visitation privileges. 

Only you can decide what’s best for your child, but you may need to reach out for legal help as you discuss child custody.