Making decisions regarding your children can be one of the most difficult aspects of any divorce. It is not easy to determine where your kids should live or how often you will get to see them, especially when both parents want to be with the children as much as possible. There are different types of custody options, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution for Iowa families. It may be in your interest to learn more about the different types of custody options to determine what is best for your family.
Whether you will go to court or you will be making custody decisions through negotiations, you need to know what is available to you. Child custody and visitation orders affect the entire family for years to come, and it is critical to make decisions based on what will be in the best interests of the kids. Through the terms of your final order, you can provide stability and security for the youngest members of the family.
Physical custody, legal custody and joint custody
There is significant evidence that suggests that children benefit when allowed to maintain strong relationships with both parents after a divorce. For this reason, joint custody is a popular custody option. In a joint custody plan, both parents will typically share equitable parenting time and the ability to make important decisions for the kids. Physical custody and legal custody are critical elements in any type of custody plan.
Physical custody refers to the amount of time that a child will spend with a parent. This includes holidays, weekends, summer vacations and more. Legal custody refers to the right that a parent has to make important decisions for the child, including those pertaining to education, health care, religious upbringing and more. Parents may share both of these types of custody, or one parent may seek to retain sole legal or physical custody.
The long-term interests of your kids
When considering your custody options, you will benefit from prioritizing the needs of the kids above all else, even how you feel in the moment. You may find it helpful to discuss your concerns with someone who can provide both practical insight and knowledgeable legal counsel. The goal of any child custody agreement is to provide the kids with stability and security for years to come.