Types of Custody and Visitation

Jennifer Wolf at VeryWell Family reminded readers about the importance of educating yourself on the various options regarding custody and visitation when going through a divorce. We understand being a single parent can be hard, but it’s necessary to explore the types of custody when dealing with a breakup.

Legal Custody vs. Physical Custody

Legal Custody refers to the legal authority towards major decisions regarding a child.

  • Sole Legal Custody: The parent who is granted sole legal custody is the only parent with the proper authority to make decisions on the child’s behalf.

⦿ This includes: religion, healthcare, and education

  • Joint Legal Custody: However, joint legal custody means both parents are given legal authority to make decisions on the child’s behalf. Parents who potentially share joint legal custody may not have joint physical custody.

Physical Custody is the location where the child lives the majority of the time. It can also be called “residential custody.”

  • Sole Physical Custody: The child physically resides at one location. Typically, the non-custodial parent is granted generous visitation rights such as sleepovers.

  • Joint Physical Custody: The child lives with both parents, however, splits up the division of residency and time either during the week or year.

  • Bird’s Nest Custody: Children live in one central location, and the parents rotate in and out of the children’s home on a regular schedule.


Parent-Child Visitation allows parents who do not have physical custody to see their children on a regular basis

  • Unsupervised Visitation: Parents are able to take children to their own homes or outings during their scheduled visitation (most common type). Limitations for visitation are specified in advance.

  • Supervised Visitation: A separate, responsible adult will need to be present for the duration of the visit. Circumstances vary, however, the courts may allow the non-custodial parent to choose the individual to supervise.

  • Virtual Visitation: Specifically, technology-based via video-conferencing can provide a sense of familiarity when parents and children live far apart.

For more information: check out Wolf’s article at Do you need legal advice for your upcoming divorce? If you’re looking for representation to protect your custody and visitation rights over your child, contact David Veliz at Veliz Katz Law.


Sidebar Form