Parents will sometimes decide to divorce and are faced with the tough decision of deciding who gets custody of their children. When parents can’t decide, they will sometimes take their child custody battle to court. The hope is that a judge will make the final decision that is in the best interests of the child. A parent could be awarded distinct types of child custody, including child visitation. However, some parents might be concerned that the difference between child custody and child visitation will affect their future relationship with their child.

Child Custody

The term child custody refers to two types of custody:

  • Physical custody: the physical possession and control of the child.
  • Legal custody: the right to make significant decisions about the child’s life. This is shared between parents regardless of who has physical custody of the child.

If parents can’t reach an agreement, the court steps in and decides which of the following arrangements meets the best interest of the child:

  • Primary Custody: The custodial parent will spend most time with his or her child.
  • Partial custody: The non-custodial parent can take the child out of the custodial parent’s control. Occasional overnights are also allowed.
  • Joint Custody: This common arrangement is a shared physical custody agreement. Both parents will share time with the child equally.

Child Visitation

Child visitation is different from child custody in that a parent with visitation can spend time with his or her child but can’t remove the child from the custodial parent’s control. There are two types of visitation that you’ll want to consider:

  • Supervised Visitation: the court may decide on supervised visitation if one parent poses a danger to the child. It can also be granted if one parent has never developed a relationship with the child.
  • Grandparent Visitation: Only in certain cases will the court award visitation to a child’s grandparents. In order to receive grandparent visitation, the visitation would have to be in the best interest of the child.

If you’re battling for custody of your children or want increased visitation, get in contact with the lawyers at the Gates Law Group. We understand the importance of parents being present in their children’s lives. Contact us to schedule a free consultation so we can discuss your options regarding your child custody claim.