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Borengasser Law Office, lawyers / attorneys in Lake St. Louis, St. Charles,
O'Fallon, Wentzville, Saint Peters, Missouri
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Physical custody is one of two components of child custody (the other being legal custody). Physical custody essentially refers to the child custody schedule. Physical custody may be joint or sole . Sole physical custody does not mean exclusive physical custody, and does not mean that the other parent's visitation must be supervised. And likewise, "joint physical custody" does not necessarily mean that the parents have equal amounts of custody time. Joint physical custody generally means that both parents will have a substantial amount of parenting time, and overnight periods of custody, on a frequent basis.
There is no bright-line legal rule that defines what constitutes joint physical custody versus sole physical custody with visitation rights. The argument about whether to refer to physical custody as "joint" or "sole" is often largely about semantics. Occasionally, attorneys and judges avoid the sole physical custody versus joint physical custody argument altogether by not including any such designation in the custody schedule.
Having "visitation" rights essentially gives a parent temporary physical custody during the parent's visitation time. In other words, visitation rights do not occupy a lesser status than child custody rights in terms of enforceability by the court or law enforcement.
In most cases, even if the parties share joint custody, one parent will be designated the residential parent for purposes of school enrollment and mailing address. What might be referred to as a standard physical custody schedule, a variation of what you may have heard referred to as a "Siegenthaler" custody schedule, generally gives the non-residential parent (a) every other weekend, beginning anywhere from Thursday evening to Friday evening and ending Sunday evening or Monday morning, (b) an evening or overnight one weekday every week, and (c) an even split of holidays and school vacations.
Parents are generally free to negotiate any custody schedule they agree upon. It is very rare for a judge to order an even split of custody time in a case that is tried and decided by the judge. However, parents often agree on an even split of custody to resolve competing claims over who should be the primary residential parent.
Borengasser Law Office
1000 Edgewater Point, Suite 406
Lake St. Louis, Missouri 63367
Phone: (636) 625-0505
Toll Free: (888) 516-7412
Fax: (636) 265-1016
Mon - Friday
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.