Two Decades Of Florida Family Law Experience

Types of child custody and visitation in Florida

On Behalf of | Nov 17, 2022 | Child Custody

Florida judges try not to play favorites when deciding child custody. The custody arrangement depends on the circumstances and facts surrounding the case. The goal is to do what’s best for the child. The first step is to understand the different types of child custody.

Residential custody

Residential custody is the same as physical custody. It refers to where the child lives most of the time. If a parent has sole physical custody, the child permanently lives with that parent.

Joint physical custody is sometimes chosen over sole physical custody. Joint physical custody is when the child splits their time between homes. The goal is for both parents to get equal time with the child.

Bird’s nest custody is a recent development. This type of custody is when the child has permanent residence. But the parents take turns living in the home with the child. Instead of the child going from house to house, the child stays put and the parents switch around.


It’s possible that a parent can’t have physical child custody. In this case, visitation is sometimes an option. It allows a parent to spend time with their child on a regular basis.

The most common type of visitation is unsupervised. The parent with visitation rights takes the child for a pre-determined time. The child might stay in the parent’s home or go to an activity. Sometimes the visitation is supervised. In this case, another adult must go with the parent during their visitation.

Legal custody

Legal custody refers to making certain types of decisions about the child. This includes what school the child attends, religion, and health care.

If a parent has sole legal custody, that parent handles decisions for the child. In the case of joint legal custody, both parents can make decisions for the child.

The best option for the child

As you can see, there are several options when it comes to child custody and visitation. The best interests of the child should determine the outcome.