Series: What is the Difference Between Legal Custody, Physical Custody, and Parenting Time?

It is doubtful that any two words mean as many different things to as many different people as the words ‘joint custody.’
— In re Marriage of Birnbaum
Series: What is the Difference Between Legal Custody, Physical Custody, and Parenting Time? 

Series: What is the Difference Between Legal Custody, Physical Custody, and Parenting Time? 

Three Key Aspects: Legal Custody, Physical Custody, and Parenting Time

I am often asked during consultations, “How do I get custody of my children?”  In typical lawyer fashion, I have to say, “Let’s stop right there and define what ‘custody’ means.” 

Custody is not one single thing.  It is a combination of several different concepts: legal custody, physical custody, and parenting time.  In this series of articles, I will discuss the differences between these concepts.  By the end of the series, you will have a good sense of what kind of custody is most important to you – and it is perfectly legitimate to decide that all forms of custody are important to you. 

Understanding the differences between legal custody, physical custody, and parenting time will help you navigate the court system.  Consider that:

  • You can have legal custody of your children but have no parenting time.
  • You can have 50/50 parenting time with your children but to have no authority to decide where they go to school.
  • You can have joint physical custody of your children but only see them one evening a week.

This series will cover:

At Krueger Family Law, we understand that no two families are the same.  We take a flexible approach to reach good solutions for our clients and their families. 

If you have questions, you can contact Krueger Family Law to schedule a consultation.