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The differences between physical custody and legal custody

On Behalf of | Dec 22, 2022 | Child Custody |

When parents divorce, their main areas of concern usually revolve around the children and custody issues. Child custody laws will usually determine how time and duties are split between parents, or if one parent gets primary custody. In Texas, child custody is broken down into two basic parts: legal custody and physical custody. Here’s a basic rundown of physical custody versus legal custody. 

Physical custody 

Physical custody basically refers to which parent the children physically reside with. The parent that the children live with is known as the custodial parent. However, joint physical custody can sometimes be awarded, which means the child has parenting time with both parents. 

Legal custody 

Legal custody is completely different from physical custody. If a parent has legal custody, he or she is responsible for making important decisions on behalf of the children. These are typically decisions revolving around health care, education and religion. Legal and physical custody can be either sole or joint. 

Help with custody issues 

It’s not out of the ordinary for physical and legal custody to be set up differently. For example, parents may share legal custody, but they might not share physical custody of the children. Parents often find that child custody is one of the more challenging aspects of a separation. Parents in Texas who have questions about child custody or the laws surrounding child custody may want to consider contacting a legal representative. An experienced and knowledgeable family law attorney can answer tough questions and help determine the best arrangements for all parties.