1) Legal Custody: The parent(s) or person(s) who the Judge has appointed to make all the major decisions in the child’s life, such as, decisions about health/healthcare, education, and religion. In North Carolina the child does not have to live with the parent or person who has legal custody of them.
The Judge could appoint two people jointly to have legal custody, known as “Joint Legal Custody,” or one person may be given legal custody, known as “Primary Legal Custody.”
2) Physical Custody: The parent(s) or person(s) who the minor child lives with on a day-to-day basis, who has actual, physical care of the child.
The Judge may appoint two people jointly to have physical custody of the child, this is called “Joint Physical Custody.” The persons or parents who have join physical custody must share time with the child so that each person has regular contact with the child. However, this does not mean that the child must live with one parent/person half of the time and with the other parent/person the other half of the time. Keep in mind it is up to the Judge how much time the child will spend with each parent/person.
The Judge may also appoint one person or parent to have sole physical custody, known as “Primary Physical Custody.” In this situation, one parent or person has the child in their care the majority of the time and the other parent or person may still have regular contact and overnight visits with the child.
3) Exclusive/Sole Custody: This means that only one parent has the form of custody.
4) Joint Custody: This means that two people or both parents share a form of custody.
***A common arrangement for custody is for both parents have joint legal custody and one parent to have primary physical custody, while the other parent has visitation rights.
If you would like to speak with a child custody attorney, contact Adkins Law. We have offices in Huntersville and Charlotte for your convenience.