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Separation and Divorce: Child Custody, Access, and Parenting Plans

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What is custody?

Custody is the right to make important decisions about how to care for and raise a child. For example, parents with custody can make decisions on their child's:

  • education
  • religion
  • health care

Custody is not about which parent the child lives with or how much time a child spends with each parent.

For example, even if only one parent has custody, the child might spend equal time living with each parent. Or the child might live mainly with one parent, but both parents have custody and share the decision-making.