Sole custody

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sole custody is a child custody arrangement whereby only one parent has custody of a child. In the most common use of the term, sole custody refers to a context in which one parent has sole physical custody of a child.[1]

Types of custody[edit]

Depending upon the jurisdiction, custody may be divided into two components, legal custody and physical custody.[2] Physical custody relates to the child's legal domicile and where the child resides.[3] Legal custody involves the parents' participation in important life decisions pertaining to the child, such as significant medical decisions or where the child attends school.[4] It is not uncommon for a parent with sole physical custody to share legal custody with the other parent, but it is uncommon for parents to share physical custody while one parent has sole legal custody.[5]


Historically, sole custody was the most common form of child custody granted after divorce.[3] Since the 1980s, joint physical custody with shared parenting have become much more common, and in some jurisdictions there is a legislative preference or presumption in favor of joint legal custody, joint physical custody or both. Research indicates that children fare better in joint custody arrangements, or custody arrangements that allow a child to have good access to both parents.[6][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Taussig, John G.; Carpenter, John T. (1980). "Joint Custody". North Dakota Law Review. 56: 224.
  2. ^ Abiston, Catherine R.; Maccoby, Eleanor E.; Mnookin, Robert R (1990). "Does Joint Legal Custody Matter". Stanford Law and Policy Review. 2: 167.
  3. ^ a b Young, Alison H. (1994). "Joint Custody as Norm: Solomon Revisited". Osgoode Hall Law Journal. 32 (4): 785–816. doi:10.60082/2817-5069.1663.
  4. ^ See, e.g., "Basics of Custody & Visitation Orders". California Courts. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  5. ^ See, e.g., "Georgia Code Title 19. Domestic Relations § 19-9-6". Findlaw. Thomson Reuters. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  6. ^ Baude, Amandine; Pearson, Jessica; Drapeau, Sylvie (27 June 2016). "Child Adjustment in Joint Physical Custody Versus Sole Custody: A Meta-Analytic Review". Journal of Divorce & Remarriage. 57 (5): 338–360. doi:10.1080/10502556.2016.1185203. S2CID 147782279.
  7. ^ Linda Nielsen (2018). "Joint Versus Sole Physical Custody: Children's Outcomes Independent of Parent–Child Relationships, Income, and Conflict in 60 Studies". Journal of Divorce & Remarriage. 59 (4). Journal of Divorce and Remarriage: 247–281. doi:10.1080/10502556.2018.1454204. S2CID 149954035.