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How Are Legal Custody And Physical Custody Different?

We talk a lot about concepts like “joint custody” and “sole custody” but in New York, the legal understanding of child custody includes two parts, Legal Custody and Physical Custody.

These may be held by one parent, shared, or split among them.

The parent who has Legal Custody of a child makes decisions that will affect the child for the rest of his or her life. What schools to attend, what faith to be raised in, how to face major medical decisions and crises are all topics that the parent who has Legal Custody is responsible for.

The parent who has Physical Custody of a child is the primary caregiver to that child, and maintains the home where the child lives, helps with homework, feeds and clothes the child, and otherwise handles the bulk of the parenting duties.

For some divorced parents, it makes sense to share these roles in one way or another.

For others, the child’s needs are best met with legal and physical custody remaining in one parent.

The attorneys at Zelenitz, Shapiro & D’Agostino can help you find a custody structure that meets your needs and gives your child the best home and future.

Call us today at 718-725-9601 for a free consultation.

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