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What is Physical Custody?



What is Physical Custody?

When divorce arises, nobody wants to give up possession of anything— especially not children. In such situations divorcing spouses who have children must decide who will get various forms of child custody: it’s noteworthy that physical custody can get especially contentious.

In Pennsylvania, physical custody refers to the legal right of either of the spouses to have the child in one’s care. In essence, this is the person who will have the child in his or her home. Plus, he or she must attend to the child’s needs.

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What are the Types of Physical Custody?

Pennsylvania has 4 types of physical custody, namely: primary, shared, partial and supervised visitation.

  • Primary Physical Custody – In this situation, one spouse is awarded care of the child for the majority of the time. He or she will be the child’s primary caregiver.
  • Shared Primary Custody – With this type of custody, both spouses are entitled to care for the child. The spouses will usually agree to a set schedule or work together in the best interest of all parties involved.
  • Partial Physical Custody – With partial physical custody, a party is granted the right to have unsupervised visitation with the child in question. In most scenarios the schedule can vary: it can be a few hours per week, a certain day or days of the week or weekends, etc.
  • Supervised Physical Custody – Supervised physical custody is a special situation where a party has been identified as a known danger to the child. The visit of such a party can be supervised by a relative, a friend, a social worker or somebody else acting on behalf of the county.

Who Can Seek Physical Custody of a Child?

According to Pennsylvania law, both natural parents can seek custody of the child. However, a party cannot seek custody if his or her parental rights have been terminated due to adoption proceedings. The judge will look at a number of guidelines to determine if one, both or neither spouse should get custody and what type of custody agreement should be agreed upon. In any case, it helps if both spouses work cooperatively and collaboratively to determine what is best for the child.

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Contact our Family Lawyers in Philadelphia If You are to Begin Custody Proceedings

Irrespective of whether divorce proceedings haven’t been started or if they are already underway, a minor child must be at the top of priorities. When it’s time to seek physical custody, you should contact a custody attorney at Sadek and Cooper Law Offices so that we can help you do what’s best for your child.

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