Seattle Child Custody Lawyers
Types of Custody in Washington
If you are trying to obtain custody of your children, or if you are involved in a child custody dispute, you will want to be familiar with the various types of custody in Washington. As our family lawyers will tell you there are four types of child custody arrangements in Seattle:
When physical custody is awarded to a parent, it means that the child will primarily reside with that parent. Joint physical custody may be awarded in cases where a child resides equally with both parents.
Legal custody can be awarded to one or both parents. Having legal custody means having the right to make decisions about your child’s upbringing, such as schooling, religion, and medical care. If legal custody is awarded to both parents, that means that both parents will share in the decision making process. If joint legal custody is awarded to both parents, and one parent proceeds to exclude the other from important decisions regarding the child’s life, then legal action can be taken to enforce the original custody agreement.
Unlike legal custody, which may involve both parents, with sole custody only one parent will have legal custody or physical custody of a child. In cases where one parent is unfit, sole custody will usually be awarded to the parent who is fit and capable of upbringing the child. It is important to note that even if sole custody is awarded, both parents may still be involved in a child’s life and included in major decisions regarding the child. In a situation such as this, the parent’s would make joint decisions about the child’s upbringing and have visitation rights but only one parent would be deemed the “primary physical caretaker.”
In cases of joint custody, both parents will share custody of the children. Usually parents in this type of custody arrangement work out a schedule according to their schedules and to the needs of the children. Joint custody can apply to legal custody and physical custody.
Contact a Seattle Child Custody Lawyer today to discuss the different types of custody and which type will work best for you and your children.