What is a Person Who Has Legal Custody of a Child? 

Having legal custody of a child is a legal designation that gives a parent the right to make important decisions for their child. This includes their health, education and other important matters. However, legal custody differs from physical custody, which is the right to have a child reside with a parent. 

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In a divorce, the court determines the child’s custody arrangement and decides who is best suited to raise the child. This could mean a temporary or permanent arrangement. In most cases, the child will spend the majority of his or her time with one parent. If a parent has to move from his or her current location, the court can issue an order allowing the other parent to visit with the child. In some cases, a child will live with both parents in a shared parenting plan. In others, the child may live with one parent most of the time and spend supervised time with the other. 

A judge can decide whether to award joint legal custody or sole legal custody to a parent. In most states, it is preferable for parents to share legal custody. Having joint custody means that both parents have equal rights to make major decisions about their children. 

The court will consider many factors to decide who gets what in a custody dispute. For instance, the best interests of the child rule will decide who is in charge of the child’s upbringing, determining who can provide medical care, and who can help the child reach educational goals. It also determines who will be the primary residence, or home, of the child. 

The best way to learn more about your parental rights is to consult with a lawyer specializing in family law. There are several options available, and you should be sure to find the right option for you. Having legal custody is not always easy, but you can make the process easier by establishing a schedule that allows your child to see you and your spouse frequently. 

In some cases, the courts may assign a guardian ad litem to represent the child’s interests in a custody case. A guardian ad litem represents the best interest of the child in a custody case when the child is in danger of abuse or neglect. This person acts as the child’s advocate and is able to represent the best interests of the child, even when the parents are in dispute. 

The court can also give the noncustodial parent the right to have regular scheduled times with the kids, a practice known as “parenting time.” A court can also decide that a particular parenting time arrangement is not in the best interests of the child, or decide that the child would benefit from a change in the current arrangement. A court can also grant a parent an alternative starting point, such as a default order. If the parent cannot afford an attorney, the court will assign a representative.