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Clarify child custody terms before heading to court

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2023 | Custody & Visitation |

If a pair of Mississippi parents decide to divorce, they must try to work out terms regarding all issues relevant to their children. Such issues include financial matters as well as child custody issues. It is important to understand the difference between types of custody and to know how each may or may not apply to a particular case.

There are basically two types of child custody when parents separate: legal and physical. Legal custody has to do with decision-making authority for the kids, and it can be either joint or sole. Physical custody refers to where the children will live, and this too can be joint or sole. In all cases, the court has children’s best interests in mind when making custody decisions.

Physical custody

From Day One, kids must continue to have somewhere to live after their parents’ divorce. In many cases, parents agree to have children stay in the house they all shared during marriage. In other situations, kids live in a new house with their mom or dad. Sometimes the kids split their time equally between the homes of both parents.

Legal custody

If a parent has legal custody of his or her children following a divorce, it means that he or she has the authority to make decisions regarding the children. If the parents share legal custody, they must discuss and agree to all decisions ahead of time. If one parent has sole legal custody, the other parent need not be consulted. Sole custody means “awarded to one parent only,” while “joint” child custody means parents share it. A Mississippi family law attorney can help a concerned parent achieve a fair and comprehensive settlement.