Understanding The Difference Between Joint Custody And Sole Custody

Understanding The Difference Between Joint Custody And Sole Custody

Children are usually those hurt the most by divorces. Even though their parents want to split and continue living their lives separately, the children just want to be children and have both parents while growing up. Sadly, no one ever asks the children what they want, and as a result, children are usually “victims” of divorces.

Child custody is a delicate problem, one that takes a lot of time to solve. The court usually takes many different things into consideration before determining child custody. If you are looking to divorce and want to know more about your child custody options, speak with one of our Salt Lake City Child Custody Attorneys right away and seek legal representation and counseling. 

Child custody can be granted as a:

  • Sole custody
  • Joint custody
  • A mix of both joint and a sole custody

Below are more information and the main differences between joint custody and sole custody.

Sole Custody

The best way to describe sole custody would be as an “exclusive right” of one parent to custody of the child. This includes both physical and legal custody of a child. A parent with sole custody is the one deciding everything, including:

  • Where the child will reside
  • Where the child will go to school
  • Other important decisions related to the child’s upbringing and life in general

If a parent is granted sole custody of the child, the other parent has no right to influence the child’s life or any decisions made for the child. However, the other parent may have permission from the judge to visit the child monthly, weekly or however it is determined by the court. In some cases, such rights may be denied (depending on the circumstances surrounding the divorce). The only cases where one parent is given sole custody of the child are those where the other parent is unfit to take care of the child. 

Joint Custody

Contrary to sole custody, joint custody means that both parents have equal rights when it comes to physical and legal custody of the child. Joint physical custody means that both parents have fifty-fifty rights and that they will share an equal amount of time with the child (this is usually not a practical solution, and in most cases, one parent gets to spend more time with the child). 

Joint custody also means that both parents get to decide together what is best for their child, and each has the right to weight in on significant decisions. Parents have to consult with one another before making a decision that impacts a child’s life in any way. Only when both parents agree can a decision be made.

Be sure to secure one of the best Child Custody Attorneys in Salt Lake City before filing for divorce, and get the most out of it. Keep in mind that your spouse will come with an attorney, so better bring one alone or risk losing more than you can afford to lose.