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The difference in child custody and visitation

Parents in Texas who are getting a divorce might wonder about the different arrangements for child custody and visitation. Although they are often lumped together, child custody and visitation are not the exact same thing. Child custody refers to who the child lives with while visitation refers to a parent's right to spend time with but not live with the child.

There are two types of custody, legal and physical. Legal custody refers to who has the right to make decisions about important aspects of a child's life. This could include healthcare as well as decisions about the child's school and religion. Physical custody refers to who the child lives with. Parents might have joint legal custody while one has sole physical custody and the other has visitation rights.

Parents might also share both legal and physical custody. This would mean the child would live with both parents. The time might not be exactly split 50/50, but the child would spend a substantial amount of time with each.

There are a number of different ways that parents could structure shared custody based on their own schedules and the needs of the child. A child might alternate a week with each parent, or the child might spend certain nights each week with one parent and certain nights with the other. If parents are able to negotiate an agreement with the assistance of their respective attorneys instead of going to court, they may be able to come up with a more flexible or creative arrangement. In some cases, such as a parental relocation, a custody arrangement might need to be renegotiated. If a relocation involves the custodial parent taking the child far away from the other parent, a court might not approve it.

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