My wife and I have decided to divorce. I wanted to know the difference between joint legal custody and joint physical custody? Both custody-types sound the same to me.
Joint Legal Custody and Joint Physical Custody are both defined in Georgia Code 19-9-6.
"Joint Legal Custody" means both parents have equal rights and responsibilities for major decisions concerning the child, including the child’s education, health care, extracurricular activities, and religious training. This means that the parents will equally make decisions in regards to the child’s welfare. Therefore, both parents will agree where the child attends school, their religious upbringing, and medical needs.
"Joint Physical Custody" means that physical custody is shared by the parents in such a way as to assure that the child will have substantially equal time and contact with both parents. This means that the child’s living arrangements will be split 50/50 between both parents and usually no child support is awarded. An example of a typical situation is when a child spends one week with the mother and the next week with the father. Another example would be two weeks with the mother and two weeks with the father.
Most parents ideally would like to have joint physical custody, however the courts usually decline this arrangement. Joint physical custody requires the child to be in the home of one parent for a week and the other parent the next week. Most courts find that this arrangement is problematic and not in the best interest of the child. The parents would have to assure that they live in equal distance to the child’s school, day care provider and their after-school activities. Typically, this is never the case and therefore having joint physical custody is logistically very difficult.
However, Courts usually grant joint legal custody and the non custodial parent will be granted visitation rights. A visitation schedule is usually set by the court to prevent confusion of when the child is set to remain with the custodial parent or visit with the non-custodial parent.
If you have any questions regarding custody-types or child support issues, please call The Boddie Law Group, LLC at 404-287-2393 or visit our website www.boddielawgroup3.com/page/home.html
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