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The 3 key points in your child custody case

Your divorce and corresponding child custody case can feel a bit overwhelming. There are so many details to work out.

To help you refocus, remember that there are really just three key areas to consider. They each have many components, but understanding the basics gives you a good place to start. The three key points are:

Legal custody

This is, essentially, decision-making power. What health care will your child get? Where will he or she go to school? What religion will be taught in the home? If you get legal custody rights, you get a say in these decisions. You may share this with your ex, no matter where the child lives, or one parent may have these rights alone.

Physical custody

This is just where the child lives. It's often split, with the child going back and forth between homes. Sometimes both parents get legal custody and make decisions, but only one gets physical custody and actively cares for the child. Remember that physical and legal custody don't have to be divided the same way.

A parenting plan

Your parenting plan starts with a schedule and a list of responsibilities. It's a way for you and your ex to plan ahead and decide how you'll work together to raise the child. It will match your custody rights, legal rights, visitation rights and all the rest, depending on the specifics of your case.

Would you like to learn more about your rights or what steps you need to take during the divorce? If so, our website has a lot of useful information that can answer your most pressing questions.

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