If you have a court order about custody, the order says who has legal and physical custody.
If you do not have a court order, custody depends on if you are married to the other parent.
If you are married
You both have the right to live with your child and make decisions about your child's life.
You may need to file a custody case if the other parent:
keeps you from having your child live with you, or
does not let you be part of making major decisions about your child’s life.
You or your spouse may need to ask the court for a legal or physical custody order.
If you or your spouse files a court case to ask for custody, both of you still share legal custody until the court makes an order.
If you are not married
A mother might need to get a court order that says she has custody if her child’s father:
tries to keep her from having their child live with her, or
tries to keep her from making decisions about their child’s welfare.
For example, a mother may need to show the police a custody order if she needs their help to get her child back from the father.