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The different types of child custody arrangements

Kansas parents who are getting a divorce should understand what is involved in custody. Both legal and physical custody can be sole or joint. Parents who have legal custody have the right to decide about a child's education, religion, health care, and other important issues. Physical custody deals with the child's living situation.

Many parents may opt for an alternating joint physical custody that involves the child staying with one of them for a few days or a week and then staying with the other. Bird's nest custody allows the children to stay in their home while the parents alternate living there, but it can be expensive and requires a lot of cooperation.

Some couples may opt for serial custody in which a child lives with one parent for several years and then with the other parent. However, this is not ideal if it prevents the child from developing a relationship with the noncustodial parent. Split custody means one or more children living with one parent and one or more living with the other. The problem with this arrangement is that it can be hard for children who are already dealing with the difficulty of divorce to be separated from their siblings as well. There are many other combinations of legal and physical custody that parents may use.

Being able to tailor a custody situation to the family and the child's needs is one reason parents may want to negotiate a child custody arrangement with the assistance of their respective attorneys instead of going before a judge. While a judge makes an effort to make a decision that is in the best interests of the child, no one knows their own situations and their child's temperament as well as the parents.

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