When the parents of a child have separated, it may become necessary to seek custody and visitation orders from the court to determine how the child will spend time with each parent and how the parents will share decision-making responsibilities. Custody refers to both legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody has to do with the parents’ rights and responsibilities to make decisions on behalf of their child, for example making decisions about the child’s education and health. Physical custody has to do with where the child is going to be living.

Visitation or parenting time refers to the time-sharing arrangement specifying how each parent will spend time with the child or children.