What is the definition of custody?

There are two parts to a custody determination in Virginia: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is the responsibility to make decisions for the child’s care and control. Physical custody is where the child primarily resides. In some cases it may be appropriate for one parent to have sole legal custody of the child, meaning that parent is the sole decision maker for the child. For families in which the parents have joint legal custody, the parents share in decision-making for the child, even though the child may primarily reside with one parent who is the primary physical custodian. In some custody arrangements the parents share physical custody of the child, which means the child spends at least 90 days with the parent who has fewer days. In some instances the parents share roughly equal time with the child through this physical custody arrangement. The needs of the children, each parent’s relationship with the children, and many other factors will determine the custody arrangement that meets your family’s needs. The attorneys at Family Law Associates are available to guide you through considering these many factors to resolve the issue.