The term “custody” includes two separate sub-issues. The first is where and with whom will the children physically live. This is called “physical custody.” The second question concerns which parent will be able to make major decisions about the children’s upbringing, such as where they will attend school, what church they will attend, health care, travel and vacations, etc. this is called “legal custody.” Either parent can have both forms of custody to the exclusion of the other parent, or one parent can have legal custody while the other retains physical custody, or either or both forms of custody may be jointly exercised by both parents.
Custody can also be sought-and obtained, if a judge agrees-by someone other than the parents (usually a grandparent or other relative). This is called “third-party custody.”
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