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What sole custody means to your family

Sole custody has an important place in some child custody cases. In many divorces, it's joint custody that works best for the children, but it's not always the case. Sole custody is when a single parent obtains the physical and legal custody rights to his or her child.

Why would a court allow one parent all the power over the child? Simply put, because the other parent has shown that he or she is incapable or unfit to have a say in the child's life. The non-custodial parent does not have legal or physical custody rights, but that doesn't mean that he or she won't see the child. In fact, the court can still order lenient visitation times or determine that visitation should be at the discretion of the custodial parent in some instances.

There are a few differences between sole legal or sole physical custody to understand. With sole legal custody, you have the right to make all major decisions about your child's welfare, from choosing a school to determining the child's religious upbringing. On the other hand, if you have sole physical custody, then you live with your child and provide supervision at all times except for when visitation is allowed.

As a parent with sole custody, you have a few benefits. For one thing, you don't have to consult with the other parent about your child's upbringing. Everything is up to you. Secondly, you may be able to have some control over visitation times. Your attorney can help you understand your specific child custody case and what your custody order allows you to do.

Source: FindLaw, "Sole Custody," accessed Nov. 16, 2016

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