Essential Child Custody Laws Divorcing Parents Need To Know


Essential Child Custody Laws Divorcing Parents Need To Know


Often, most parents in a mistaken manner, assume that child support is usually a 100% pinned to child custody. In some situations, this claim is true whereas in others it is not.

In the event of a divorce, having a well defined court order in place can make any situation less stressful. It enables both parents to continue to be responsible in all matters concerning the welfare of their children.

Generally, no custody order will be in place without a support order unless otherwise directed by a federal or district court. An exception is when the involved parties agree to visitation issues. Most parents, however, usually agree when it comes to matters concerning their children.

Problems frequently arise as a result of unfairness or merely minor issues that occur from time to time. It is then that a lawyer is involved with full knowledge of what is transpiring.

Almost all court orders outlining custody, support, and finally visitation take the guesswork out of the arrangements. Each legal aspect involves children of every type of family dynamic. This allows for each member of the family to be educated on what is required of them. These orders can be altered in the occurrence of an illness, unemployment, and disability.

Child custody affects not only the biological parents, but other family members as well. Continuing to make sure a child is happy, healthy, and loved is an essential priority for any parent. Keep reading to learn some essential child custody laws every divorcing parent needs to know.

Types of Custody

Just like there are many types of families, there are also many types of custody. Discuss your options with your divorce lawyer to find the right custody for your family.

  • Joint Custody: Both parents legally share physical custody of a child or children.
  • Sole Physical Custody: One parent supervises and lives with the child. The other parent is entitled to visitation at specified times. It is normally regarded as Full Custody.
  • Joint Physical Custody: Physical custody of the child is equally distributed to both parents.
  • Sole Legal Custody: All the decisions regarding the health, education and well being of the child are responsibilities of a single parent.
  • Joint Legal Custody: Both guardians have a say in decisions concerning the welfare, health, and education of their child.

Child custody and Guardianship are the constitutional legal terms that are used to explain the legal relationship between a parent and his or her child. It also includes the rights of the parent in the making of choices for the child. This includes the duty to look after the child.

Legal Custody

Legal custody is what enables a guardian or parent to make long-term choices concerning the upbringing of a child. This includes primary aspects of the child's well being, such as medical procedures, dental care, education and religious beliefs.

In numerous child custody claims, both parents are awarded legal custody commonly known as joint legal custody. However, it may not occur if either of the parents is unfit or incapable of making rational decisions concerning the upbringing of the child.

Legal care and physical custody are different. Physical custody involves issues regarding where the child should live.

Joint Custody

As mentioned earlier, join custody refers to one of two applicable scenarios: joint & legal custody or joint-legal custody.

Parents share equal physical custody rights and also legal custody. Both parents are required by law to fully participate in the decision-making process affecting their child’s upbringing. They are also expected to split time evenly regarding day-to-day care of the child. Either of the parents can even live with the child. True joint custody arrangements are often rare to occur because of their ability to cause both personal and practical problems. Common difficulties include stress and disruption of the child's daily routine. However, with an experienced lawyer advocating on your behalf, you’re more likely to get the custody outcome that works best for you and your child.

Joint-legal custody is considered more popular than other joint custody arrangements. In this type of custody, physical and legal custody is evenly distributed. Even though the physical custody is awarded to a single parent, both parents equally contribute to the decision making regarding the upbringing of the child.

Child Visitation

Child Visitation is a right for either parent to visit their child, regardless of past choices. Child visitation is a fundamental legal step in maintaining the bond between a parent and a child. However, some cases require a parent to remain non-custodial while maintaining a regular visitation pattern.

All divorced parents need to have an adequately detailed visiting schedule agreed upon and approved by the court. It is determined like any other domestic issue that involves children. The choice that leads to the greatest benefit of the child is chosen.


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