I Want Full Custody

Many people come into the office and they request “full custody.” First, there are two different types of custody - legal and physical. It is somewhat misleading to request “full custody” Are you talking about legal custody? or physical custody?

Legal custody is the right of the parent to make decisions regarding the health, safety and welfare of the child such as the decision to enroll a child in a particular school, participation in church, making decisions regarding medical care, and enrolling a child in extracurricular activities. Most courts start with the premise of joint legal custody. Unless one of the parents is doing things unilaterally, it would be difficult to get “full” or sole legal custody. However, it does happen and the court can award sole legal custody if one parent is blocking decisions regarding legal custody. It is important to contact the Law Offices of H. William Edgar to discuss your legal options and alternatives. The initial consultation is free.

Most people equate full custody with actual physical custody of the child. Again, that is very misleading. A parent may have sole physical custody of the child but the other parent is still granted visitation rights. Sole physical custody can have serious consequences in a case, especially if one parent is trying to move away. As with legal custody, most courts will start with joint physical custody as a baseline. The designation of primary physical custody can also have serious legal consequences, such as where the child will be enrolled in school. A parent may get sole physical custody if there are issues of domestic violence, alcohol abuse and/or drug abuse. Again, the court typically awards joint physical custody with one parent being designated as the primary (even if there is a 50-50 split). It is important to contact the Law Offices of H. William Edgar to discuss all of your options.