This aspect of a family law case involves how the parties will share their children and who will participate in making decisions about the children.
There are two parts to an order relating to children, one is legal custody and the other is physical custody.
In most instances the parties will share joint legal custody. This means the parties will work together to make decisions regarding the children’s health, safety and welfare. For a parent to have sole legal custody there must be something significant that could create a danger of injury or harm to the children such as drugs, alcohol, abuse, domestic violence, etc.
Joint physical custody refers to sharing of time with the children. It does not describe how much time. That will be set forth in the visitation plan set by the court or agreed to by the parties.
The issues of custody and visitation remain before the court until the children reach the age of majority. This means that even though there is a Judgment, the court can modify those orders at a later time. To request a modification there needs to be a reason for the requested change. This is referred to as a change in circumstance.
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