What does "custody" involve when one is getting an online divorce?

When couples confront the decision to divorce, they confront a lot of unknowns and that usually creates fear and confusion.  When minor children are involved, the term "custody" is one of the first to arise.

You can find a legal definition of "custody" here.

As a divorce mediator for the past twenty-five years and the creator of an online divorce site, let me describe and discuss the terms to the best of my ability.

Custody can be viewed in two aspects – physical and legal.

Physical custody relates to where the children are and when, in terms of week-to-week, weekends, holidays and special days.

Legal custody relates to decision-making and has nothing to do with where the children are.  Legal custody relates to the major areas of decision-making like health, education and religion, and of lesser importance, some general welfare issues like how decisions are made regarding extra-curricular activities.

Sole means resting exclusively with one party.  Primary means resting largely with one party.  Joint means approximately equal or one half.  Shared is a vague term that may be acceptable when the others are not.

What I suggest – as a mediator and with the use of the online divorce site, http://www.ourdivorceagreement.com/ – is that you complete all of the sections that relate to physical and legal custody, then take a look at the two aspects and call them what they appear to be. This cuts down on the tendancy to "grab" for the kids using the concept of custody.

You can "mix and match" these two aspects of custody in any way that works for your situation.  For example, if you wish to equally share decision-making but one of you have the children more than 50% of the time, this could be considered joint legal/primary physical custody.  If one will have more of the decision-making authority but you are sharing the children equally, this could be considered primary legal/joint physical custody.  My point is that I urge couples to define the specific situation they want, then call it what it appears to be.

We recommend that each party consult with separate attorneys prior to signing the agreement.  The attorneys can help assess what you have created to find the best term for each aspect of custody.

If you have further questions, please contact us at support@ourdivorceAgreement.com or +1 502 897 3020.

(Nothing in this article should be considered to be "legal advice."  An online divorce site can give you the tools to complete your divorce but, there is no substitute for sound legal advice from a lawyer from your jurisdiction looking at your situation strictly from your point of view when seeking a divorce.)

1 comments: (+add yours?)

Laurice said...

Legal protections may result in the party who has the weaker financial positioning receiving support payments, being awarded the house, having the other party take responsibility for the debt, but this can take years. Get Divorce Help Consultation in Mississauga on legal fees that compound over the course of a divorce may end up being more than the debt you owed to begin with.

Post a Comment