John Bednarz, P.C. | Divorce & Family Law Attorney
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What is more important -- having legal or physical custody?

It is very difficult to say that legal custody or physical custody is more important to the life of an Arizona child. Each provides a child with a different type of support and security and determinations about how such custody arrangements should be made always factor in the best interests of the child. Individuals who wish to learn more about how these custody plans could serve their families should contact their family law attorneys for specific guidance.

However, it is useful for readers to understand the differences between legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody has less to do with where a child lives. Rather, it gives parents big-picture rights to be involved in the decision-making processes for their children. If a parent has legal custody of the person's child then the parent may be involved in decisions related to where and how the child is educated, if and when the child receives medical treatments and if and where the child develops a faith system or religious affiliation.

While legal custody has a broad spectrum outlook, physical custody has more to do with the day-to-day care of the child. Parents with physical custody generally live with their kids and are responsible for meeting the kids' daily needs. A parent who does not have physical custody of the child may be able to secure visitation rights with the child but such determinations are made by family law courts.

A child's needs may determine if it is more important for a parent to have legal or physical custody of a child. However, both are important in forms of child custody. A parent may have both physical and legal custody of the person's children or a parent may have neither. Attorneys who work in the family field can help their clients understand their rights to custody of their children.

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