When parents divorce, one of the most common yet difficult issues is usually child custody. One parent may seek sole custody or agree to co-parent with his or her spouse, depending on how well each communicates needs and wants with the other.
Attorneys.com notes that there are several different types of custody situations and that each parent may want to consider the needs and welfare of any children involved before choosing one that will affect travel, schooling and finances once a divorce is final.
When one parent is either unfit or unable to share custody with another parent, the other may seek sole custody and ask a judge to forbid visitation. When a judge grants sole custody to an individual, he or she becomes the custodial parent and makes the majority of decisions concerning a child’s education, health and wellness. The non-custodial parent may request visitation rights; however, depending on that parent’s lifestyle or past actions, he or she may have limited or supervised visits.
When one parent has died or is not physically present and the other is unfit or unwilling to take custody of a child, a grandparent, aunt or other non-parental relatives may step up in their stead. This is sometimes known as third-party custody. In some cases, this third party may have to prove that one or both parents of a child are not fit to provide him or her the proper care before a court grants non-parental custody.
Split custodial parenting
In some custody cases, each parent may care for or have complete custody of siblings within the same family. For example, a father may retain custody of his son, who will reside with him, while the mother holds custody of the other children. This is sometimes a solution for children with special needs.
Judges usually base their custody decrees on the best interests of the children involved. Custody details may change as the circumstances of the parents do.