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A look at physical, joint and split custody

Philadelphia parents going through a divorce likely have a lot on their minds. For parents especially, divorce can be a trying time in a person's life. After all, there is much to consider -- along with property division and alimony, parents also often have to look at child support and child custody. Child custody can be one of the most contentious parts of a divorce. Oftentimes, parents will disagree on whether physical, joint or split custody is in the best interests of the child.

Some parents may not know the difference between physical, joint and split custody in child custody cases. Physical custody is often awarded to one parent. It is with this parent that the child will spend most of the child's time. However, this parent often still shares legal custody with the other parent. This means that both parents will be able to make decisions regarding the child's healthcare, religion, schooling and other major concerns.

Then there is joint custody, in which the time is equally split between the two parents. Some purport that this is best in many cases as the child does not feel any loss. However, others claim that it negatively affects the child, since the child has no central base where the child can feel stable.

Joint custody also requires a great amount of cooperation between the parents, which in some cases is unrealistic. Lastly, there is split custody, in which one parent has custody of one or more of the children, while the other parent has custody of the others. Courts usually prefer to not pursue this option.

Parents going into divorce have a lot to think about. Sometimes this can prove overwhelming. Thankfully, attorneys are available to assist parents during this process.

Source: Find Law, "Child Custody Basics," Accessed on Nov. 9, 2015

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