Decisions on the physical and legal custody of a child are extremely personal and terms such as joint, shared, sole, physical, and legal custody can be unnerving when thinking about your own child.

Joint physical and legal custody indicate each parent has a say in the academic, medical, religious, cultural, and other decisions regarding their child, and each parent has a visitation schedule with their child. The term “shared” custody is often used when there is equal time (such as week-on, week-off).  Visitation/custodial schedules can be tailored to each unique situation. 

If parents cannot agree on custody terms and a visitation schedule, Courts in Alabama have enormous discretion to make those extremely personal decisions for them.  Many Courts will use what is commonly referred to as a “standard” visitation schedule if there is no agreement. 

Sole legal and physical custody giving one parent is sometimes necessary to give one parent sole decision making authority – to the exclusion of the other parent.  Speak with an attorney if you have any questions about what is best for you and your family. 



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