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The Difference Between Sole Legal Custody and Sole Physical Custody

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Daughter hugging her mom
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One parent can be awarded either sole legal custody or sole physical custody during the divorce process.

Sole Legal Custody:

When a parent has sole legal custody they have the right to make all legal decision regarding the child’s upbringing without in-put from the other parent.

Very rarely do courts grant sole legal custody, leaving the other parent with no legal say so over their child’s upbringing.

Sole Physical Custody:

If a parent is awarded sole physical custody the child lives with that parent with no visitation rights to the other parent.

Courts will award a parent sole physical custody if the other parent is deemed unfit due to alcohol abuse, proof of child abuse or domestic abuse, drug abuse or a new partner or spouse who has been deemed unfit.

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