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Definitions of child custody and visitation

A divorced Charlotte parent might have visitation or custody rights. If the parent has visitation rights, this means the parent has the right to spend time with the child, but the child does not live with the parent. The child lives with the parent who has physical custody rights.

Physical custody, dealing with the child's primary residence, is only one type of custody. Legal custody is the type. A parent who does not have physical custody might still share legal custody with the other parent. Parents with legal custody have the right to make decisions about important elements of a child's life including religion, education and health care.

If physical custody is shared, then both parents have a significant amount of time with the child. However, this could also be the case in some situations where a parent has visitation and the other has physical custody rights. There are many different types of arrangements that might suit parents and their children.

The most important thing parents should keep in mind is that they should make decisions that are in the best interests of the child. Parents can negotiate an agreement for a child custody and visitation schedule. This may be a difficult process, but their attorneys can assist them in these negotiations. Parents can also create a parenting agreement that addresses such issues as bed times and who is responsible for which extracurricular activities. In a high-conflict situation, parents might agree to communicate only by email or text and only on the subject of the child or even through their attorneys. If they are unable to reach an agreement, they can turn to mediation or go to court and have a judge make a decision.

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