Physical Custody

The child will live with the parent with physical custody. That parent must provide day to day care for the child and is called the custodial parent. These days courts general award physical custody to one parent and the other gets visitation rights – exclusive time to spend with the child generally over weekends, major holidays and school vacations. Legal custody is generally shared in most cases. Earlier courts used to award joint physical custody but it has now become rare mainly because it is seen as disruptive to the child’s routine.

Example: The court awards physical custody of the child to the mother while legal custody is shared between the father and the mother. So the child will live with the mother but the mother and the father equally share the responsibility of taking important decisions about the child’s welfare. The Father is also awarded visitation rights enabling him to spend exclusive time with the child over every alternate weekends, on all major holidays and for two weeks during the school vacation.

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