When two parents split-up or divorce, matters related to child custody must be determined. Even in cases where a split or divorce is amicable, parents would be wise to take steps to establish a formal and court-enforceable child custody agreement. Doing so helps protect the custody rights of each parent in the event one's relationship with an ex changes or one parent moves to another city or state.
There are two basic types of child custody, joint and sole. In a sole custody agreement, one parent retains full physical and legal custody of a child. Barring charges of domestic abuse or violence, the other parent is typically awarded visitation rights to a child. In joint custody agreements, parents have an equal say in matters related to their child's care and wellbeing. Frequently, joint custody arrangements also provide each parent with access to and time with a child.