Child Custody Cases & What to Expect

As divorce rates continue to rise, more and more children are growing up in a single parent household. Despite the fact that a divorce legally separates the parents from one another, it is important that both remain active in their child’s life. Because the welfare of a child becomes the focal point of all child custody cases, it is essential that you hire a qualified divorce attorney who specializes in this area and will work hard to see that the child’s best interests are met.

Current divorce laws differ from one state to the next, but there are several basic guidelines that each follows in an effort to achieve a fair custody arrangement for all involved. An experienced divorce attorney will be able to answer any questions that you may have regarding local child custody laws, divorce laws and how to prepare for your case.

Child custody may be granted to either spouse but, in most cases, joint custody is sought and approved for those capable of sharing the responsibilities and decision-making aspects of parenthood. Under these circumstances, it is important to understand the different types of child custody and what they mean to you. Temporary custody, which is most commonly agreed upon in the beginning stages of a marriage separation, is reached amicably by both parents and provides for a temporary resolution to issues surrounding visitation without court involvement. During this stage, the court will typically intervene only if one or both parents are deemed to be unsuitable.

In divorce court and/or divorce mediation, there are basically two types of custody, including legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody involves the rights for making legal decisions for a child, such as those relating to education, healthcare and other important factors that will influence the child’s general well-being. Sole legal custody occurs when only one named parent retains the right to make legal decisions for the child, whereas joint legal custody allows for both parents to handle legal decisions without one having superior rights over the other. Physical custody refers to the child’s actual residence and is either granted as sole, which means the child lives with one parent, or joint, which means that the child resides with both parents separately for a considerable amount of time during each calendar year.

When it comes to child custody cases, the court will attempt to reach an arrangement that is in the best interest of the child. Although the court will often consider the child’s wishes, the final decision is made by a judge after a full review of the case. After a decision is reached in child custody cases, it is widely believed that the child has the right to enjoy an ongoing relationship with both parents, receives continuing care and guidance from both the mother and father, is not influenced by one parent to view the other differently and is able to express his/her feelings and feedback without being made to feel ashamed about said emotions.

When it comes to the custody of your child, it is essential that you consult with and research several different divorce lawyers before making a final decision as to your legal representation. The pursuit of child custody is one of the most important of your life and you will value the advice on divorce as offered by your divorce attorney.

The information contained in this article is designed to be used for reference purposes only. It should not be used as, in place of or in conjunction with professional legal advice regarding divorce, child custody, child custody laws and/or divorce laws. If you are in need of divorce advice or are considering a marriage separation, consult with a professional divorce lawyer in your area for further information and/or divorce advice.

Andrew Daigle is an author and creator of many informational websites including Divorce Attorney Search, Mesothelioma Attorney Search and many more.

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3 Responses

  1. I am interested in reviewing “fair” visitation schedules for a stable parent (mother) that is trying to re-enter the life of her 11 year old son.
    No history of addictions or abuse.

    Also, do you find that the men are better received when trying to return to a child’s life (as opposed ot the mother returning) ???

    Your insight is appreciated.

  2. As a parent that does not have full custody the norm is about 20% of the time.

    It typically consists of every weekend, some holidays and one over night visit.

    Most of the cases that I see consist of one parent having a child 5 nights a week and the other parent getting Friday and/or Saturday nights. It really depends upon your set-up and agreement. This is typical for young children or teens mainly because of school.

    As far as perception, the courts are obligated not to give preference one way or the other. I don’t know your situation nor will I ask. If you have a history of drugs, child neglect and other sorts of criminal activities, it could be hard for you to get overnight visitation rights. Many people that have a less than par background will typically get supervised visitation rights.
    If you want to get back into your sons life you will need a lawyer. If you can’t afford a lawyer, I would recommend contacting a legal aid service.

  3. I am a teen, but my father does not think that my sister and I have a thought for how we wish to live. We do not get to tell the Judge face to face what we want, so even thou our mom tells the Judge what we want, our dad just clames that he is the one who really knows. How come we can not just do what ever we want? My sister leaves for collage next year, and I’m in 11th, why don’t we have the legal say to where we want to be?

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