What is sole child custody?

When you have sole custody of your children, you will have complete authority and responsibility over their lives and they will also live with you full time. In many cases, an unmarried mother who gives birth to a child will automatically have sole custody of her child, but the biological father may be able to pursue the right to spend time with the child via a court-approved visitation schedule. In other cases, one of the parents may acquire sole custody if the other parent is deemed to be unfit for a variety of reasons, or if the other parent abandons the child.

When seeking sole custody, a parent will want to acquire full child custody in terms of both types of custody: physical and legal. Physical custody refers to the parent with whom the child lives. Some parents split physical custody 50-50. For example, the child may live with one parent during the first and third week of the month and live with the other parent during the second and fourth week of the month. On the other hand, if a parent has full physical custody, then the child will only have one home with that particular parent.

As for legal custody, this refers to the parent that has control over important decisions that pertain to the child. The parent with legal custody will decide questions like the following: Where does the child go to school? How should the doctor treat the child's illness? Can the child play football or is it too dangerous? Should the child continue taking ballet classes in spite of a torn ligament? In the case of shared legal custody, then the other parent will have to agree and approve of any of the decisions made in this regard.

Are you seeking sole custody of your child? Make sure you understand how to pursue this kind of custody appropriately in court by determining which factors in your case will sway the court to award you both full physical and full legal custody in your case.

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