Child Custody and Visitation
The settlement of child custody and visitation is handled very differently from other aspects of the divorce process, such as property division and support. In many cases, because of the emotion involved and the uniqueness of each family, child custody and visitation can be the most difficult part of settling a divorce. Typically, there are many factors that are used to determine custody, but the assessment and application of these factors can vary from case to case. These factors can range from practical considerations, such as work schedules and flexibility, and other availability-related elements to softer aspects that are harder to measure. The Courts rely on one overarching factor in making child custody and visitation arrangements -- what is in the best interest of the child.
There are two types of custody that are determined and recognized by the Courts: legal and physical. Legal custody addresses the major decision making capabilities of the parents and whether co-parenting is a realistic option. Physical custody determines where the child will spend his or her time. The term “parenting time” has become popular because it sheds old connotations about visitation and custody and equalizes terminology.
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