loader image

24/7 emergency phone line: 0203 620 2288

24/7 emergency phone line: 0203 620 2288

Different Types of Child Custody

Child custody laws in the UK are slightly different from those in other countries. You’ll want to pay attention to certain things, such as who has the right to make choices on behalf of your children and which parent will provide them with primary care. 

The law makes very specific statements about how it handles these disputes. Many parents do not even understand what they mean by keeping them safe from immediate harm and helping them adjust as much as possible.

You must understand how the best interests of the child doctrine affect child custody decisions so that you can decide for yourself whether or not you want to pursue legal action.

Centralchamberslaw.com will get in-depth into child custody and will help you get a better grasp on this topic.

Types of Child Custody

 There are 4 types of child custody in the UK, and you need to understand each type and what type of custody you will be going for if you plan or bring on legal action.

  1. Legal Custody
  2. Sole Custody
  3. Physical Custody
  4. Joint Custody

Legal Custody

Legal child custody in the UK is an issue that often comes up between parents with involved in a divorce or separation. Legal custody issues can be complicated and contentious because each individual is recognized by law as the child’s parent. 

The situation is further complicated if there are multiple parents involved. Legal custody means that one of the parents has the right to make decisions relating to their children on behalf of all parties (not just them individually). 

At the same time, they are minors or not physically or mentally able to do so independently. This includes anything from education, medical care, and discipline to any other significant decision regarding the child’s welfare.

This term can also apply to where a child lives (locally or abroad) who makes decisions concerning the child’s education, religion, and language, etc. Child custody can be granted by either a court of law or by agreement between both parents.

Sole Custody

Sole custody is the type of custody that involves the best interest of one child only. It is usually awarded to an already established parent caring for their children from the beginning of the relationship and who has developed a close relationship with their husband or wife. 

Parents who decide to adopt a child during proceedings will sometimes petition for sole custody. Still, this request is denied if it is determined that the biological parent has failed to provide proper guidance and supervision, leading to that child’s poor social development and poor academic performance. 

In cases where sole custody is awarded, both parents must obtain approval from their attorneys to proceed further with adoption proceedings, which must be submitted no later than twenty days after approval is granted by the court.

Joint Custody

Joint custody is the most common type of joint child custody arrangement in the UK. It is also the arrangement that is granted most frequently by family courts. However, other varieties of joint custody arrangements can be arranged through an agreement between parents, and it’s important to understand that all kinds of custody arrangements are different.

Joint child custody, also called “shared” or “equal” custody, is a type of child custody. With it, a lot of paper is needed,  if you need to know what these papers are, then the first time, go for it.

It refers to having joint legal custody and parental responsibility over one or more children after divorce. It’s important to understand joint child custody because it can help you create a stable environment for your children and involve both parents in raising them.

Unlike sole custody, joint custody grants both spouses the right to exercise parental authority over the children.

Physical Custody 

Physical custody is the most popular type of child custody in the UK. This type of custody is commonly given to children who live with their biological parents but are often shared with stepparents or adoptive parents. 

Some states do not permit joint physical custody but allow for partial physical custody, which permits parents to divide their time between homes.

Nowadays, the importance of having a good relationship with one’s parents is increasing. Since these relationships also include the children and their emotional needs, physical child custody arrangements have taken on a lot of importance. This is why parents are increasingly encouraged to proceed with physical child custody arrangements in the UK.

Physical custody means having the right to care for and make decisions about your child. If an individual is given physical custody of a child, they are supposed to have a non-residence agreement and can be awarded residence documents of their own. 

You may think that you are lucky if you are granted physical custody. However, there are certain conditions which you should know about in order to stay happy with your new living arrangement.


This is another type of child custody in the UK.

Guardianship is appointing someone to care for a child in need or who cannot do so themselves. It also means taking responsibility for a person’s financial and health decisions.

In England and Wales, guardianship is granted by the Court of Protection. This can happen when a guardian is appointed by the court to look after the best interests of one or more children or adults who have been deemed unable to make their own decisions.


We hope you understand the different kinds of child custody if you ever see yourself in a child custody case. And if you do see yourself in a child custody case, do not hesitate to contact us at centralchamberslaw.com. Our highly experienced and professional lawyers have what it takes and will do their best to help you in your trial by the letter of the law.