Types of Child Custody Cases and the Lawyers Who Handle Them

“What are the different types of child custody?” is a reasonable question if you’re going through a contentious child custody dispute or are about to file for divorce. You’re not the only one perplexed by the numerous legal terms used to describe the different types of custody.

Physical custody and legal custody are the two categories of child custody. There are also different types of child custody, including sole custody, joint custody, third-party custody, and custody in a bird’s nest. Before going to court or creating a parenting plan, it is crucial to comprehend the distinctions and similarities.

Let us contact a skilled family law attorney in your area immediately if you need clarification about the best child custody arrangement for you and your kids.

Read on to learn more about the various forms of child custody.


Child Custody Comes in Two Forms

Legal and physical custody are the two types. Whoever has legal custody is in charge of making crucial choices on behalf of the child. However, the parent with whom the child resides is determined by physical custody. According to child custody lawyers, a parent may receive exclusive physical custody in some cases, but joint legal custody is required. Find out more about each particular one below.

Physical Custody

Disputes over physical custody are frequently the most heated. It determines with whom the youngster will spend the most time. If a parent is allowed sole physical custody, they are entitled to the full-time residence of their child. The other parent may be granted restricted visitation and control in this situation.

Legal Possession

Legal custody is the right of a parent or guardian to decide on important issues that may affect their child’s life, such as:

  • Health, education, and general upbringing
  • medical treatment choices
  • their child’s faith

As you can see, these are crucial factors. Due to the potential repercussions of granting one parent sole physical and legal custody of their child without consulting their ex, judges are often hesitant to grant such a charge.

Categorization of Child Custody

Every parent and potential guardian should know the many types of child custody. The terms of sole custody and shared custody are well understood. Other less typical categories include “third-party custody” and “bird’s nest custody.” Explore each in more detail below.

Sole Custody

One parent with sole physical and legal custody of their children is referred to as having “sole custody,” as the name suggests. Unless one parent is unsuitable owing to financial hardship, a substance abuse problem, or a history of physical abuse, judges are often unwilling to grant sole legal or physical custody.

Also, judges may grant sole custody if one parent is living with or dating an unfit partner. The best option for everyone may be sole custody (physical, legal, or both) if you live far away from your ex.

It is never a brilliant idea to ask for sole custody in the middle of a child custody dispute to retaliate against your ex. Using your child as a negotiating tool in a divorce will probably work against you.

Joint Custody 

No matter what state you reside in, most family courts favor joint custody. Sharing legal custody of the kids is what is meant by “joint custody.” Judges may grant joint physical and legal custody.

As long as both parents can make meaningful choices for their children, family courts frequently grant joint legal custody, even if one parent is given primary physical possession. Because every case is distinct, parents can create a unique joint custody arrangement in the parenting plan to suit their child’s requirements and situation.

Some joint custody arrangements involve the child moving back and forth between homes monthly or weekly. Sometimes parents decide that their kids should spend the week with one parent and the weekend with the other. Regardless of the plan, a judge must nonetheless approve it.

Birds Nest Protection

A type of custody known as “bird’s nest” permits the kids to stay in the same house while the parents alternately move in and out. The majority of parents cannot afford this type of arrangement. It is the wisest choice in some circumstances.

Judges rarely impose custody of a bird’s nest. Parents must ask for it. The judge will only grant this type of custody if the parents can show that it is in the child’s best interests.

Custody by a Third Party

A non-parental custodian may be granted custody of children under a third-party custody agreement. Grandparents, members of the immediate family, and acquaintances are frequently third-party caretakers. When the biological parents don’t want custody, are unfit parents, or are incapable of raising their children, this type of custody may be granted.

Is it crucial to retain a child custody Lawyer?

Yes. More than being required, hiring counsel is a need.

  • Legal Assistance

Family concerns and court appearances follow the custody dispute. An unexpectedly single parent will inevitably experience stress and difficulty. It is, after all, a family once more.

A lawyer is like a solace to ease the pain of separation and future uncertainties. The lawyer takes control of the legal matter. So, there is no need for concern.

What transpires if there is no progress between the couples and the lawsuit has already been filed with the court? Nothing would undoubtedly be cordial coming from the other side. In this duel, getting the second is your only remaining choice.

  • A Family Lawyer Provides Guidance and Knowledge.

A custody attorney can assist in setting up the necessary paperwork and is thoroughly knowledgeable in family law. They frequently act as an excellent mediator between the two parents and help them come to an understanding.

A lawyer can recognize potential issues in a case. or follow their action during the court hearing. What happens if one parent requests sole custody? And there are countless other possibilities that you are unaware of.

  • Time-Saving

For a typical person without prior expertise, it takes longer to resolve a case. If it’s impossible, it’s not surprising. A knowledgeable attorney would spare you essential time by offering a simple remedy that would appear difficult to the untrained eye.


Legal assistance makes it easier to defend your parental rights and create a strategy for your family’s future when dealing with child custody concerns. Strong emotions are naturally brought on by child custody, and disagreements and misunderstandings between parents are frequent occurrences. For the benefit of the child and even the family, the matter should be resolved as quickly as possible. Returning to daily life as soon as possible is crucial.


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