There are different types of child custody that parents in Florida should be familiar with if they have child custody concerns. Parents may have questions about what exactly the different types of child custody are and how they may impact their child custody arrangement.

There are generally two types of child custody including physical custody and legal custody (referred to as parental responsibility and time-sharing in Florida statues). Physical custody refers to which parent the child will live with. Legal custody refers to which parent will have the right and responsibility to make important decisions for the child, including education, health care, religion and overall upbringing. Both can be shared or sole custody arrangements.

In many cases, parents will share joint physical custody, which will allow the child to go back and forth between the homes of the two parents. If one parent has sole physical custody, the other parent will likely have visitation rights through a visitation and parenting plan. A visitation plan will address holidays, vacations and other important dates. If parents share legal custody, they will have to cooperate together to make shared decisions for the child. Child custody decisions are always based on what is in the best interests of the child, so parents should also remain focused on that objective.

Child custody can be an emotional issue for parents and entire families. Because of how important child custody is for children, their parents and families, it is helpful for parents to understand the different child custody options that are available, so they can work with the family law court to develop a child custody arrangement that is best for their family.