Updated: 2020-08-04 by
While the terms physical custody and legal custody refer to types of decisions affecting your children, “joint custody” and “sole custody” refer to who makes those choices on behalf of the kids.
Joint custody refers to a situation where both parents make decisions.
Sole custody means that just one parent has control.
Note that these two types of custody can be blended, and that joint custody doesn’t necessarily mean a 50/50 split.
For example, parents could be granted joint legal custody—giving them both a say in important decisions about their child’s education, religious training, medical treatment, and the like—while one parent gets sole physical custody, meaning that the child will live with him or her and most likely visit the other.
For more details about the different types of child custody and how they fit together, see How Does Child Custody Work in Pennsylvania?