How are physical and legal custody different?

Divorces can lead to a variety of changes for the family. Not only is the divorcing couple affected, but their children are as well. For these cases, individuals will need to focus on making arrangements for child custody. It is important to keep the relationship open between the children and both parents. Having both parents involved in the children’s lives is something the court tries to arrange. However, if it is found that a parent is unfit to maintain custody of the children, this may be something the judge uses to decide upon the custody arrangement.

Custody arrangements are usually broken down into physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody decides who the child will live with most of the time. When a parent is given physical custody of their child, they are named as the custodial parent. This means that the child will reside with them. The child may be able to visit their other parent and stay with them overnight depending on the specific case. Parents who are given physical custody of their child may be entitled to child support. Since they reside with the child, they provide for them on an everyday basis. This can add up to a lot of expenses. They may need help with these expenses from the other parent.

Legal custody gives parents the abilities to make vital decisions for the child. These decisions can include medical care, religion, education and more. If parents are not given physical custody of their child, they are still able to gain legal custody of the child. This can help to keep the parent involved in the child’s life and ensure that they maintain a working relationship with the child.

Can modifications be made?

Since child custody cases are arranged when the couple gets divorced, there is the opportunity for the arrangement to be changed in the future. Only the current factors can be considered when the original agreement is made. As children grow older, their needs may change. They may even display aggressive behavior that indicates a change is needed. Maybe one parent is not following through with the arrangement and needs to be reminded that it is a court-ordered agreement. This means it is legally binding and must be followed.

If you require strong legal representation for matters of divorce and family law in New Jersey, contact The Law Offices of Paone, Zaleski & Murray to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today.