St. Louis Divorce Lawyers

Physical Vs. Legal Custody in Divorce Negotiations

Our team of experienced child support lawyers knows that these matters need to be handled delicately in order for the issue to be resolved amicably.

St. Louis Custody Attorney

If you talk to a St. Louis divorce attorney or anyone who has been in a divorce, they will tell you how complicated separation can become. Just going through assets, negotiating on them, and deciding who gets what is very arduous and complex. When children are involved, the stakes are raised even further. The best-case scenario in a divorce is that both parents are mature and empathetic, leading them to negotiate a fair custody agreement. Unfortunately, this is often not the case.

If you are involved in a divorce, whether you have children or not, you should consult with a lawyer. Regardless, educating yourself on the specifics of custody is a smart idea.

Physical Custody

Physical custody refers to where the child usually lives. The negotiations that take place in this domain center around which parent or parents will house the child, and how often they will. There are two reasons why this is so important. First, you might want your child to live with you at least part-time so you can preserve and grow your relationship. This will be much harder if you see each other during visits and outings only. The second reason is that you want to be protected if your ex-spouse decides to move. If you have partial physical custody, you should be able to keep your child in town.

Legal Custody

Though we like to give our children as much freedom and responsibility as they can handle, parents still need to make certain pivotal decisions for them. Examples of these decisions are where they go to school, what sports they play, what religion they follow, and more. When you divorce your partner, these decisions become much more complicated. Depending on whether you have joint or sole legal custody, you may be making those decisions on your own, or you could be making them with your ex-spouse.

Joint Custody

Joint custody describes a situation where both parents have a legal right to their child. This can be applied to both physical and legal custody. In physical, this will mean that the child will live in both parents’ houses on a specified schedule. For legal, it means that parents will need to collaborate to make important decisions about their kid’s life.

Sole Custody

Sole custody is the opposite of joint custody. In this case, one parent will have the right to make every important decision or exclusively house the child. While judges try to avoid this situation, it is sometimes necessary in the case of an extremely negligent parent.

As you can see, the custody situation following a divorce is not straightforward. Making things even more dire, the results of your custody negotiations could have significant effects on your future relationship with your child. Because of this, you need to have a St. Louis divorce lawyer at your side throughout the process. They will get you the best result in every divorce negotiation, including ones for custody.

Child Support Lawyers

Despite the circumstances, your child’s well being and future should always be put first. As a team, our firm has learned that the best approach to dealing with family law issues like child support is to try and work out the differences in a productive and friendly manner. We have found that this approach paves the way for future problems to be handled with mutual respect and the best interest of the child as a priority.


Contact The Betz Law Firm today for a free 30-minute phone consultation by calling (314) 801-8488 or by filling out our online contact form.