Physical Custody and Legal Custody Comparison

What is the difference between physical custody and legal custody? Legal custody in Oregon refers to decision making on important issues. More specifically – religion, education, and health care. The parents can agree to have joint decision-making, but if they cannot agree, then the court has no authority to order it and sole legal custody will be granted to one of the parents. It is usually granted to the parent who has more time with the children because that parent is typically managing more of the children’s affairs. The term “physical custody” is not a legal term used in Oregon statutes. However, it’s often used to refer to the type of custody arrangement ordered by the courts. It’s commonly used to describe the parent whom which the child primarily resides with.

Examples of Legal and Physical Custody

It’s difficult to compare legal and physical custody as they could both mean different things depending on your circumstances and the State you reside in. In the case of legal custody, one or both parents will have decision-making ability when it comes to important issues in the child’s life. Depending on the type of legal custody, parents may be required to make decisions together or only one parent may have the ability. Physical custody generally belongs to whomever the child lives with the most, but this is not a legal term in Oregon.

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