What is Sole Physical Custody?
If a parent is granted sole physical custody of a child, the child is only allowed to live with them. This parent is sometimes called the ‘custodial parent’ or ‘primary caretaker.’ Although the child cannot live with them, the other parent, or ‘non-custodial parent,’ can still share joint legal custody of the child, meaning they can still have an equal say in important decisions regarding the child’s education, health, and education. Furthermore, the non-custodial parent is usually granted some form of parenting time, whether it be supervised or unsupervised, according to a preset schedule. A non-custodial parent will usually only be refused parenting time if a court determines it is not in the child’s best interest to spend time with them.
Which Child Custody Option is Right for my Family?
As with all child custody options, there can be pros and cons to sole physical custody depending on the situation. The child will have the stability of one permanent residence, which may be the same location they lived in prior to the separation or divorce. They can continue to go about their normal routine including going to school and visiting friends. This stability can be of great comfort during the difficult time of a divorce or separation. Also, if the non-custodial parent poses some form or emotional or physical danger to the child, the child will not have to be exposed to it. However, if the non-custodial parent has a good relationship with the child, the separation between them can be very difficult.
Should I pursue Sole Physical Custody?
Many factors are considered in granting custody, including the parent’s mental and physical health, the nature of their relationship with the child, and their ability to care for them. The child’s own wishes are also taken into account by a court, if they are of an appropriate age and maturity.
Since the child’s needs and best interest are the key determining factor in custody cases, it is important to find a solution that will work best for them, and not cause them any undue distress on top of an already difficult situation. It is always best to try to resolve these matters amicably if possible since it can be both costly to pursue and difficult for all parties involved.