Definition of Full Custody


Full custody is a legal term that refers to the physical care for a child, and the responsibilities and rights afforded to parents. Contrary to the plain-language implications of the term, "full custody" and "sole custody" are not the same.

Decision Making

  • Full custody means parents have full rights to make medical, legal and educational decisions for their child.

Financial Support

  • A parent with full custody has the responsibility to financially provide for the child and meet his basic needs.

Physical Custody

  • Full custody entails physically caring for the child on a full-time or part-time basis.

Shared Custody

  • Two parents can share full custody of a child. In situations where parents have joint custody, as long as the mother and father retain their legal rights, both can have full custody.

Full Custody and Visitation

  • When only one parent has full custody, he still must comply with all court orders regarding visitation with the noncustodial parent.


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