Legal Snack: Legal and Physical Custody, What’s The Difference? Part Two

Family Matters Law Group is proud to present Legal Snacks, short introductions to some of the most frequently asked about legal topics in our office. A more informed client is a better client, so spend some time and explore these informative, concise videos. This month’s legal snack is the second part of our series on legal and physical custody differences. In this video, Mrs. Edidiong Aaron, founder of Family Matters Law Group, walks us through the basics of physical custody.

Let’s hear what Mrs. Aaron has to say about this important topic:

Key Questions From This Legal Snack

In this video, Mrs. Aaron addressed a key question about the various types of physical custody that could be awarded in court. Keep in mind that physical custody is not the same as legal custody. For a refresher on legal custody, please review part one of this two part series.

Four Types Of Physical Custody

While legal custody concerns who gets to make the major decisions for the child, physical custody is all about where they are going to live. Physical custody is usually the first thing parents ask about because they want to know who gets to have the child at home.

The first category of physical custody is sole custody, where the child resides with one parent 100% of the time. Sole physical custody also results in sole legal custody. So, with sole custody, your child lives with you and only you, and you have the final say in all significant matters pertaining to the child’s day to day life.

The second category of physical custody is primary custody, where the child resides with you more than 50% of the time. Being named the “primary custodial parent” gives you the advantage of spending the most time on a day by day basis with the child as compared to the other parent. Having primary physical custody is no guarantee of legal custody. It is highly likely you will have joint legal custody with the non-custodial parent.

The third category of physical custody is one that Mrs. Aaron refers to as one that is designed to spare your feelings, but it’s not really one you want. Secondary custody makes you the “non-custodial parent”. The child lives with you less than 50% of the time. This is not an ideal situation for someone who is fighting to spend as much time with their children as possible.

Finally, there is joint physical custody, where the court tries to come up with a schedule so that both parents have relatively equal time and contact with the children. This can lead to some very weird scheduling, so it is vital to have your attorney fight for what is in the best interests of the children before you sign off on a final custody schedule. While a 50/50 schedule is desirable, how that 50/50 split is worked out is open to many variations.

Hire An Experienced Attorney

If you enjoyed this legal snack and have additional questions concerning legal or physical custody, be sure to contact Family Matters Law Group and set up a consultation. You can call or use our online contact form. We’ve helped parents across the Atlanta metro area get favorable custody decisions. 

We’re ready to hear your story and fight hard for your family and your assets!


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