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Child Custody Basics
Rights, Residency, and Relationship


By: Child Custody Coach®

Child custody is a legal term that is often used by the family courts to describe the rights and responsibilities of divorced parents and their minor children, the residency or placement of the children, and the relationship and/or amount of contact the children have with each parent. When divorced parents are unable to agree on such issues, the family courts are often left with the difficult task of determining the best custodial arrangement of the children and parenting plan for the parents. The more parents understand what is involved in child custody determinations the more informed they will be in making decisions regarding their children after a divorce.

Rights and responsibilities of the parents
The rights and responsibilities of each parent to their minor children includes decisions regarding the raising and general welfare of the children on issues such as the children's education, medial care, dental care, and religion. Such rights and responsibilities are commonly referred to as legal custody of the children.

Residency or placement of the children
The residency or placement of children refer to where the children will live and spend majority of his/her time. Often times a child will live with one parent more than the other parent and the parent that the child lives with the most will typically be responsible for the day-to-day care of the child. In some cases, the child will live equally with both parents, close to equally with both parents, or live a significant amount of time with each parent and the parents will share in the responsibilities and day-to-day care of the child. The residency or placement of child and day-to-day care of the child are commonly referred to as physical custody of the children.

Relationship and/or amount of contact the children have with each parent
In the case where the child resides or lives primarily with one parent, the time spent with the other parent is often referred to as visitation. The parent that the child lives with more is often referred to as the custodial parent and the parent with visitation is referred to as the noncustodial parent. In such cases, the noncustodial parent will typically have a visitation schedule that describes his/her contact with the children. The visitation schedule is sometimes referred to as a parenting arrangement.

When divorced parents are unable to agree on the rights and responsibilities of the parents and their minor children, the residency or placement of the children, and the relationship and/or amount of contact the children have with each parent, the family courts are often left with the difficult task of determining the best custodial arrangement of the children and parenting plan for the parents. The more parents understand what is involved in child custody determinations the more informed they will be in making decisions regarding their children after a divorce.

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© 2006 Child Custody Coach

Child Custody Coach supplies information, written materials, online materials, and coaching services to parents in the field of child custody, namely, divorce, child custody and visitation, divorce, child custody evaluations, parenting, and all child custody related issues. Custody Match is an online consumer and family law attorney matching service to help consumers find the right family law attorney, divorce lawyer, or child custody attorney in their area.

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Child Custody Coach
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