If you are going through a divorce, it may seem intimidating to have to decide what custody arrangement is truly in the best interests of your children. There are many child custody arrangement options, limited by only work and school schedules and the level of cooperation between the parents.

What is legal custody?

In Pennsylvania, like many other states, there are two types of custody, legal and physical. Legal custody is the right for a parent to make significant decisions that determine such things as the schooling, religious instruction and medical care their child will receive. Parents usually share legal custody responsibilities.

What is physical custody?

Physical custody relates to what most people think of when they hear the phrase “custody agreement.” There are two different types of physical custody, sole and joint. A sole residential custody arrangement grants physical custody to one parent and visitation rights to the other parent. Joint custody means that both parents share physical custody of their child.

Cooperation and communication

While it takes a certain level of cooperation and communication between parents to pull off a joint custody arrangement successfully, it can be a rewarding experience, especially for the children involved. Joint custody also makes sense when parents live in the same town and school district, but is hard to achieve if one parent lives a distance away from the other.

Common calendars

Parents choosing joint custody must have a high level of scheduling awareness for it to go smoothly. Common joint custody plans are:

  • Parents having custody on alternating weeks
  • Two-day blocks of custody that alternate each week
  • Two blocks of two days, one for each parent, combined with three days Friday through Sunday that alternate between parents

Sharing custody with another parent can be helpful when it comes to accommodating for each parent’s work schedules and other outside demands. Children can benefit greatly with both parents consistently in their lives.