Transitioning from a marriage with children to life after a divorce can be very hard on a Pennsylvanian parent. Especially when that parent is accustomed to undertaking many of the day-to-day responsibilities that parents perform with regard to their kids may they struggle with not having their children in their homes each day of their lives. Often when parents undergo divorces they have to split up their children’s lives so that each parent may have some custodial control over the kids’ physical bodies.
However, there is a second type of custody that is just as if not more important than physical custody. This second form of custody is legal custody, and the remainder of this post will generally discuss what it is. Readers who are working through their own custodial dilemmas should discuss their rights and options with their attorneys as this post does not offer legal advice.
Whereas physical custody grants a parent control over the tangible aspects of raising a child, legal custody grants them control over intangible parental decision-making. For example, if a parent has legal custody of their child then their preferences regarding their child’s education may be honored, as well as their wishes regarding the kids’ indoctrination into particular religious organizations.
Legal custody gives a parent the right to advocate for and against the big issues that will make a difference in how their child is raised. A parent who lacks legal custody may have to see their preferences ignored in favor of their child’s other parent’s wishes being respected.
Both legal and physical custody are important, but it is not uncommon for courts to grant both parents legal custody of their kids while only granting one parent physical custody of the minors. Parents who want a say in how their kids are raised should fight to retain their legal custody rights after their divorces are finalized.