What is the Most Common Child Custody Arrangement?

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Separation and divorce is an emotional, time-consuming, and costly procedure. The effects of divorce can be further exacerbated when children are involved. Although 90% of custody agreements are made without the need for a court ruling, you may find that you need legal help.

The legal details of child custody can be complex and are usually part of a common divorce agreement. When two people separate following a marriage or partnership, children are often fought over. Both parties usually agree that the mother should take custody of the children. Courts usually appoint the mother as custodian as well.

You might be in need of a detailed explanation of child custody. This article explains the following:

  • What is Child Custody
  • Aspects of Child Custody
  • The Most Common Child Custody Agreement

Common divorce agreements include child custody agreements where each party has an equal right to custody. Custody agreements include various arrangements. In most cases, custody is granted to the mother with the father granted visitation rights.

If you need child custody advice The Law Offices of Thomas Stahl can help.

What is Child Custody?

Following divorce where children are involved, child custody arrangements are usually made. The welfare of the children is always the primary concern when making custody decisions. Once custody has been granted to one of the parents they are then responsible for the children.

The Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute defines child custody as follows:

Under the common statutory provision, if the spouses have children together while married, the parents have joint guardianship over that child and the parental rights are equal. Each parent has an equal right to the custody of the child when they separate.

The custodial parent handles all aspects of the child’s life. This includes socialization, education, and healthcare. Financial responsibilities fall upon both parents and the non-custodial parent may be ordered to pay child support.

Aspects of Child Custody

As with most complex legal matters, child custody has many aspects. The primary legal custody types fall under physical custody and legal custody. There are also further types that define the degree of participation of a parent.

  • Physical custody: children will live with you as short-term dependents.
  • Legal custody: children will live with you as long-term dependents.
  • Sole custody: you alone are responsible for all decisions regarding the children.
  • Joint custody: both parents make equal decisions in regards to the children.
  • Shared custody: there is limited decision-making in regards to the children.

In most cases, some form of custody is granted to both parents. There are certain instances where a parent can be denied all types of custody. Such instances include proven cases of previous abuse against the children, an unsafe environment, or violation of other court orders.

The Most Common Child Custody Agreement

In most cases, coming to an arrangement is necessary. Because of the various aspects and factors in most people’s lives, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. The most common child custody agreement falls under various schedules. These schedules include:

  • Fixed: the court decides specific days and times the non-custodial parent can see the children.
  • Reasonable: a flexible arrangement between both parties that sets times and dates to suit both.
  • Supervised: appointed visits with a third-party mediator in case of child endangerment.

Supervised visits will continue until deemed no longer necessary. In extreme circumstances where children might face immediate danger, visitation can be denied. This is usually because of a dangerous non-custodial parent involved in drug use, previous abuse, or neglect.

If you have any doubts or queries then don’t hesitate to call The Law Offices of Thomas Stahl.


The vast majority of common divorce agreements include resolutions to child custody. But not all matters can be resolved amicably. Where child custody agreements need to be arranged the welfare of children is the primary concern.

There are various types of custody ranging from sole custody to joint or shared. Sole custody grants one parent full decision-making rights over the children. Other types aim to find a middle ground where joint decisions can be made.

Also, various visitation arrangements can be made. Fixed arrangements appoint specific times and dates that the non-custodial parent can visit. Reasonable arrangements can be made that suit both parties. In situations where the non-custodial parent poses a threat, supervised visits can be arranged. In severe cases, visitation rights might be denied.

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