Perhaps the most delicate issue to resolve for divorcing couples, is the care of their children. When dealing with custody agreements, there are two aspects to consider- residential custody, and legal custody.
Residential, or physical custody, is in reference to who the children will live with. It can be shared custody or sole custody. While legal custody deals with who is responsible for the children’s welfare, and who has the right to make decisions in relation to the safety, health, and education of the children. Both parents have a right to make decisions on how best to take care of their children, as well as on the daily activities they participate in. However, the parent that has legal custody is the ultimate authority when making big decisions that deal with the overall safety and welfare of the children. Legal custody, like physical custody, can also be sole or joint custody.
Sole Residential Custody
In the case of sole residential custody, the children live with one parent. That parent is the custodial parent; however, the children will still spend a certain amount of time with their other parent. The child’s primary residence is with the custodial parent. It is very rare that sole custody is unaccompanied by visitation for the parent who does not have custody.
The non-custodial parent will have visitation rights that will allow them to maintain a relationship with their children, and still allow them to spend time together. This is generally two overnight stays every week, as well as vacation and holiday time together. Though, each case is different. In the case of alcohol or drug abuse, or physical abuse the visitation rights may be supervised, or severely limited. Visitation rights can also be revisited in the case of a serious illness.
Sole custody is a way to exercise parental authority in cases of separation or divorce.
Shared Physical Custody
In terms of shared physical custody, the children will spend almost equal time with both parents. While one parent will be named the PPR, parent of primary residence, the other is the PAR, parent of alternate residence. In this type of custody, the children spend more than two nights a week with both parents. So, the home the child spends the majority of nights with makes that parent the PPR, while the other parent is the PAR.
The arrangement will vary, depending on the custody plan. Shared physical custody is a popular choice for parents who live close to each other. It’s natural for parents to be anxious about leaving their children, but the children’s best interest is what comes first. It is up to both parents to ensure their children are taken care of.
Joint custody NJ is a mutual commitment that promotes open communication, and regular meetings. It is designed to fit into the demands and expectations of both parents, while keeping the children’s best interests the focus.