Sole Legal Custody: refers to when one parent has the legal right to make decisions without informing the other parent. These decisions include those pertaining to medical records, school reports, extracurricular activities, etc. Legal custody is defined by the parties to include decision making by one or both parents for some or all decisions.
Physical Custody or Residential: refers to where a child resides the majority of the time; however, the child still spends and shares time with the non-residential parent. In New York State, you may be awarded shared residence and the parents are allowed to define it in their own agreement.
Birds Nest: in this arrangement, the children remain in the former marital residence as the parents take turns at the household with the children while the other resides somewhere else for their agreed-upon time. This is often a temporary arrangement to ease the transition for the children and to meet the financial needs of the parents.
Shared Parenting Plan: this refers to parents having equal time with the children and takes many forms. This requires a definitive plan, but also offers everyone involved to see as much of each other as possible.