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Sole custody arrangements have generally been considered a traditional form of custody for many in the past, however there has been a trend since the 1980s towards joint custody arrangements being more favorable.[1][2][3] Sole custody consists of an arrangement whereby only one parent has physical and legal custody of a child.[3][4]

Other forms of custodyEdit

  • Alternating custody is an arrangement whereby the child/children live for an extended period of time with one parent, and then for a similar amount of time with the other parent. While the child/children are with the parent, that parent retains sole authority over the child/children.
  • Bird's nest custody is an arrangement whereby the parents go back and forth from a residence in which the child/children reside, placing the burden of upheaval and movement on the parents rather than the child/children.
  • Joint custody is an arrangement whereby both parents have legal custody and/or both parents have physical custody.
  • Split custody is an arrangement whereby one parent has full time custody over some children, and the other parent has full custody over the other children.
  • Third-party custody is an arrangement in whereby the children do not remain with either biological parent, and are placed under the custody of a third person.

See alsoEdit


  1. (22 August 1996) Surviving the Breakup: How Children and Parents Cope with Divorce, Basic Books. URL accessed 15 October 2011.
  2. Patrick Parkinson (21 February 2011). Family Law and the Indissolubility of Parenthood, 45–49, Cambridge University Press. URL accessed 25 September 2011.
  3. 3.0 3.1 (1998) How to Help Your Child Overcome Your Divorce, 44–45, Newmarket Press. URL accessed 15 October 2011.
  4. Webster Watnik (April 2003). Child Custody Made Simple: Understanding the Laws of Child Custody and Child Support, 16–38, Single Parent Press. URL accessed 25 September 2011.
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