What Does Full Legal Custody of a Child Mean? 

Full legal custody of a child means that you have the legal right and authority to make major decisions on the child’s behalf. This can include things like education, medical care, and religious choices. It can also mean that you have the legal right to visit the child. The courts will be tasked with determining whether you are entitled to make these types of decisions. 

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The best way to determine what full legal custody of a child entails is to examine a number of factors. One of the most important factors is if your ex-spouse has harmed your child. You may be awarded custody if your ex-spouse has actually physically harmed your children. However, you can’t expect to automatically win the court case. There are a few other important factors to consider, including whether you can prove that the other parent is unfit. For instance, if your ex-spouse has a history of alcohol or drug abuse, you will likely be required to go through a supervised visitation process. 

Another factor is your child’s emotional bond with you. Generally, the court will view it in your child’s best interest to have a close relationship with both parents. In some cases, this might mean that your child is able to live with either of you. Other times, a court may not grant overnight visitation rights to a parent who is not living in a stable situation. 

While there are a number of factors that can influence the decision of your local court, there are only a handful that are deemed to be the most significant. These include the amount of time that your child spends with each parent, the amount of communication between them, and the degree to which you are able to meet your child’s needs. 

The court will also look at the living situations of both parties. If you are living with your child in a slum, for example, you may not be able to get overnight visitation rights. Conversely, if you are living in a home, your ex-spouse has the right to learn about your child. 

Lastly, the court will determine what the most appropriate parenting plan is for your child. If you are divorced, you have no need to seek full custody. Rather, you should consider sharing legal custody with your former spouse. A court will often award joint custody to both parents, but it isn’t always granted. Similarly, if you have an existing court order, you can petition the court to change the arrangement. 

Finally, the legal and physical aspects of full legal custody of a child is a good example of the law of averages. Both parents are entitled to equal rights. However, one parent has more influence over the decision making process for the child. That’s why it’s common to find that parents can share legal custody but aren’t able to jointly decide on major issues such as medical care. Having both parents involved in the decision-making process is also a great idea.