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What Types of Child Custody Are There?

Going through a divorce or legal separation can be an extremely difficult situation for any family — especially when small children are involved. In many cases, parents can come to an agreement when it comes to custody of their children. There are, however, cases in which the court needs to intervene and a custody battle ensues. In this case, it is up to the court to decide how custody is split between two parents.

In today’s blog post from Robert J. Anderson PLLC Law Firm in Dallas, we’ll take a look at the four different types of child custody — legal, physical, joint, and sole. If you or someone you know is dealing with a custody battle of their own, don’t hesitate to contact the family lawyers at our Dallas law firm. We will guide you through the process of child custody agreements and work as the advocate in your corner, fighting for your most desired outcome.


When it comes to child custody, there are four different types to consider:

Legal Custody

When a parent assumes legal custody of their child, that parent has the right to make any decisions necessary when it comes to the needs of the child. They can make every decision regarding education, health care, and religion without discussing these topics with the other parent. In many cases, courts will assign joint legal custody so that both parents have legal rights when it comes to decisions being made for or about the child.

Physical Custody

Physical Custody means that the child lives with one parent while the other parent receives visitation rights. If the child is spending an equal amount of time with each parent, the court might assign joint physical custody, which gives each parent an equal amount of parenting time. Joint physical custody is the most common type of child custody arrangement due to the importance of having the child spend equal amounts of time with each parent.

Sole Custody

When sole custody is awarded to a parent, that parent will either have sole legal or sole physical custody of their child. This happens if one of the parents is deemed unfit. This type of custody is rare, but not unheard of. If a court gives sole physical custody to one of the parents, the non-custodial parent may still retain some visitation rights and both parents may still have an equal say in the decisions made for the child.

Joint Custody

Joint custody means that both parents are awarded custody of their child or children. Joint custody can be given as either joint legal custody or joint physical custody or both. This type of custody is the most ideal because it gives each parent an equal opportunity to spend time with, make decisions for, and generally care for their child or children.

Hire Your Dallas Family Lawyers to Navigate Your Child Custody Agreement

If you’re going through a divorce or separation and you’re trying to determine the best course of action when it comes to deciding custody for your child or children, contact the family lawyers at Robert J. Anderson PLLC Law Firm in Dallas. We will guide you through the process so that together we can get to the best outcome for you and your family. Call our team today to learn more or to schedule a consultation.