If you have just gone through a difficult divorce, it is very common to have negative feelings about your ex-spouse. One of the most difficult aspects of the divorce process is determining child custody and child support. Particularly if you are harboring negative feelings, you may believe that the children are best off in your custody alone. However, according to Findlaw, it is very uncommon for one parent to end up with sole custody of the children, except in extenuating circumstances.
There are two types of custody that you can end up with where your children are concerned. These are legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is having the right to make certain decisions about your child’s lifestyle, such as medical care, religious upbringing, and educational decisions. Physical custody refers to where the child spends most of his or her time living.
In a traditional sole custody situation, one parent has both legal and physical custody of the child. The other parent is considered non-custodial, and while he or she may not have the right to make legal decisions regarding the child, he or she is often entitled to visitation.
The most common custody situation in the modern courtroom is co-parenting. This is where both parents share legal and physical custody of any children on a more or less equal basis. This is the most common decision since research has determined that children tend to thrive in environments where both parents are equally involved in their upbringing, even if those parents do not live together.
With this being the case, co-parenting is generally considered to be in the best interest of the child. This is why sole custody is very rare to obtain these days.