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Child Custody Basics

If there are children involved in your divorce, the divorce courts will make child custody arrangements. Most states grant parents equal custody rights if it’s in the best interest of the child.

With equal child custody rights, both parents have joint child custody, which may include both legal and physical custody. It’s also possible for one parent to have sole physical child custody, while the noncustodial parent shares legal custody and gets generous child visitation rights.

In many states, the courts must consider the child’s wishes – if he or she is old enough to comprehend making a decision. The parents’ wishes and the relationships between the child and parents, siblings and other people that are involved in the family unit may also be considered. Each state has specific child custody guidelines that help determine custody.

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