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What is physical custody?

When parents split, there are important issues to sort out. However, this doesn't easily occur when parents do not agree. Physical custody is an important aspect of settling a child custody dispute. Matters of physical custody can come up when Virginia residents go through divorces, choose to separate from their partners or problems arise in existing custody plans. On its most basic level, physical custody covers where a child will live and which parent will be responsible for their day-to-day needs.

Whether a parent is granted physical custody of their child will depend on many factors related to their particular case. As such, this post does not offer its readers any legal advice. It offers only information to individuals who wish to learn more about this important family law topic.

Like legal custody, physical custody can be shared or it can be granted solely to one parent. When a child's needs may not be met under the care of one parent or when one parent has a history of abuse against their child or partner, it is more likely that the child will be placed in the sole physical custody of their other parent. A parent who has physical custody of their child may be able to secure child support from their child's other parent to help cover the costs of raising their shared offspring.

Children often need stability and a sense of confidence in the individuals who are charged with their care. The age of a child, their special needs, education requirements and other factors may alter how different physical custody plans sort out. When parents cannot prepare their own effective child custody plans and establish how they will share physical custody of their kids, the courts may take over this responsibility and issue orders regarding the parents' rights and responsibilities. In these matters, the focus is on the best interests of the child, and it is important for parents to understand how to secure that.

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