WHAT IS CUSTODY?
Custody is the right given to a parent to exercise care, control, and supervision over a child. It also includes the right to stay with the child after the court has allowed a woman and a man to divorce or to go on separation. The parent who is given custody of the child is called custodial parent while the parent who is not given custody of the child is called a non-custodial parent.
TYPES OF CUSTODY
There are two types of custody. These are:
i). Sole custody - This is where the court gives one parent the right to stay with the child. The parent who is given custody also has the duty to care for the child and make decisions concerning the welfare of the child. The parent who does not have custody is usually given the right to visit the child.
ii). Joint custody - This type of custody is also called shared custody. The court allows both the father and the mother of the child to stay with the child. The court also allows the mother and the father to supervise the child. For example, the court may tell the parents that the child will stay with the mother during school days and with the father during holidays.
This type of custody requires both parents to maintain regular contact with each other for purposes of fulfilling the conditions of the custody order. Thus, where the parents have constant fights and do not communicate effectively, this type of custody cannot work.
EFFECT OF A CUSTODY ORDER
When a person has been given custody of the child, he has the duty to:
• Control and take care of the child every day; and
• Supervise the activities the child is involved in every day.
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