There are two parts to child custody. One is the right and responsibility to make decisions for a child (legal custody). The other is where a child will live (residential or physical custody). If a parent has sole custody, this includes the right to make major decisions about your child (legal custody) and the right to have you child live with you (physical custody). A parent who does not have legal custody or physical custody will likely still be entitled to visitation and to be consulted about major decisions affecting the children. It is also possible that the parents can share joint legal custody of the child (but not physical custody) so that the child lives with one parent for the majority of the time and the other parent has visitation, but both parents have the right to jointly determine important decisions about the child no matter whose house the child is living in at the time the “important decision” needs to be made. Often, a parenting coordinator is useful for this process.
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