How does legal custody differ from physical custody?

| Jan 6, 2021 | Child Custody |

Parents in Farmington Hills who are facing divorce will naturally be concerned about how much time they will get to spend with their child post-divorce. In Michigan, child custody and visitation (referred to as “parenting time” in Michigan) is often a major issue in when parents divorce. The following is an overview of Michigan’s child custody laws.

Physical custody

Physical custody refers to who takes care of the child on a day-to-day basis. When one parent is granted sole physical custody, they will be designated the custodial parent, and the child will primarily live with them. The other parent will be awarded parenting time with the child. When parents are granted joint physical custody, the child’s residence will be shared between each parent.

Legal custody

Legal custody refers to who will be granted the right to make major life decisions on behalf of the child. For example, the parent with legal custody may be able to make decisions regarding the child’s education, medical care and religion. In Michigan, courts generally prefer to grant joint legal custody, in which the parents will share the right to make these decisions. However, sometimes only one parent will be granted legal custody of the child.

Where to turn if you are facing child custody issues in your divorce

Ultimately, this post does not offer legal advice specific to any reader’s divorce. Child custody can be one of the most important and hotly contested issues in a divorce. Those who want to learn more about child custody and parenting time in Michigan may want to seek professional guidance, so they can make informed decisions.