Parents often talk about wanting "custody" of their kids, but what does that really mean? Custody could be different things to different people, so it is better to instead be specific about what each parent's rights are. Legal custody means the right to make major decisions for your children afftecting their health, education, and religious upbringing. Day to day parenting decisions, like what to serve for dinner, what time bedtime will be, etc, are made by the parent who the child is with at that time. For that reason, legal custody decisions don't tend to come up that many times in a child's life. Legal custody can be joint, sole to one parent, or a "hybrid" wherein one parent may have a tie-breaker in case of disagreement, or a reqirement to use a mediator or parent coordinator to help make the decision. For example, a parents with joint custody would have to decide together if the child is to receive a course of medical treatment, but typically daily decisions, like giving a child over the counter medication, could be undertaken by whichever parent the child is currently with. While it would be a great thing for kids if the parents can coordinate on things like diet, discipline and bedtimes, keep in mind that is a level of detail that judges are not likely to dictate to parents. Judges do need to consider "the best interests" of the children, but will not second-guess a reasonable parenting decision.