If you are a parent seeking custody of your child, you should be aware that Pennsylvania has seven separate forms of custody. As FindLaw explains, custody can be legal, physical or both.
When you have sole legal custody of your child, you are the adult responsible for making the decisions about his or her medical care, the schools he or she attends and what, if any, religious affiliation is appropriate. If you have shared legal custody, you share those decision-making responsibilities with someone else, probably your child’s other parent.
Physical custody, the right to have actual physical possession and control of your child, has several sub-categories as follows:
Sole physical custody means that you are the only adult with whom your child can live. Shared physical custody means that someone else, usually your child’s other parent, shares that right. If you have primary physical custody, this means that even though someone else has the right to have your child live in his or her home, your right is greater than his or hers. In other words, your child lives with you most of the time. The other person has partial physical custody; that is, your child lives with him or her less than half the time.
The final type of physical custody is supervised physical custody. This means that whichever adult(s) have whichever form of physical custody of your child, they can only exercise it while being supervised by an agency or individual appointed by the court to monitor the interactions between your child and them. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.
For more information, contact Louis Wm. Martini, attorney at law.