Types of Custody for Parents

In addition to the difficulty of divorce for the couple, there's also the complex decisions about the future of their children. What are the different types of custody available?
Types of Custody for Parents

Last update: 22 June, 2019

When a couple with children decides to separate, the parents immediately worry about what will happen to their children. Knowing the different types of custody for parents will help make your decision easier.

Knowing that their parents are about to get a divorce and that the family won’t all be together in the same house usually affects children. If the parents fight, the kids will suffer even more.

Ideally, everyone will agree on everything without fights or arguments. If this is possible, children will be left out of the difficult, traumatic process of separation.

Who will the children live with? How will the parents be able to visit if they don’t live with them? What will happen during the holidays? Who will be in charge of decisions and authorizations when the kids are minors?

These and many other questions are frequently asked among parents who must choose one of the types of custody.

What are the types of custody for parents?

1. Full custody

Statistics show that this is the most frequent of all types of custody in the system. When a couple gets a divorce, one of the parents is left in charge of the minor children. In this type of custody, the parents agree on when the parent without custody can visit.

Until a few years ago, the general belief was that children should stay with their mother in the family home. Therefore, with some exceptions, kids remain under their mother’s care. 

However, fathers have begun to assert their rights more, as they felt like they were left out of their children’s lives.

Although most cases of full custody are still held by mothers, it’s much more common for dads to obtain full custody as well.

Types of Custody for Parents

2. Shared or joint custody

Joint custody satisfies the need that children have both parents in their lives equally. It also helps the mother and father share spending time with their children.

In the case of joint custody, the children are the responsibility of both parents, even if they live separately. The law usually doesn’t determine the length of the stay with the father or mother. The parents are the ones who regulate it.

Psychologists don’t recommend this type of custody for children under 7 years old.

To establish joint custody, parents need to request it. In addition, both parents must have adequate living conditions to have custody of their children.

A healthy lifestyle and resources to take care of children are essential requirements for the two parents to share custody.

There are also cases of shared custody where the children always stay in the same house. In fact, it’s the parents who move around. That way, their children have more stability since they aren’t constantly changing houses.

“In the case of joint custody, the children are the responsibility of both parents, even if they live separately.”

3. Split custody

In some very special situations, the judge can determine that the children are split up between both parents. That is, some will live with their mom and some will live with their dad.

These are rare cases where it’s completely necessary. It has a greater impact on children because it separates them from their siblings.

Types of Custody for Parents

Children should always be the center of attention

Children need stability to develop normally. Therefore, stability needs to be at the center of decisions regarding the children’s future during divorce. This is the main aspect that the judge will focus on when working on the case.

Whatever the parents decide, it’s important that their children have space. If their parents live in different houses, we recommend that they have their own room at each house.

There is no perfect situation when parents get a divorce. However, the impact won’t be as bad when they focus on their children’s wellbeing first and foremost. This will require sacrifices, but their children’s needs to be at the center of their attention.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.