When parents get divorced, one of the most important aspects of the process is custody of your children. Before you begin the process, you should know how custody works to make sure your children are adequately cared for. Here are some common questions and concerns about child custody:
What Type of Custody Should You Pursue?
There are two types of child custody, both legal and physical. Legal custody of a child refers to the parent who makes legal decisions on behalf of your child. Physical custody has to do with which parent your child will primarily live with. A parent can have one or both forms of custody.
In addition to these types of custody, you also need to know about the amount of time in which your children will be in your custody. There is sole custody, joint custody, shared parenting, and more options you and your attorney can discuss.
How Are Custody Decisions Made?
There are several considerations a judge factors into their decision on custody. The court first looks at which parent, if not both of you, can best support the children's immediate needs. A judge also looks at the level of support each parent provides when it comes to supporting the child's relationship with the other parent.
If the child has special needs, that will be considered as well. If one parent is more capable of ensuring a child gets to their doctor's appointments and therapies, the judge may decide the child should be with that parent on a more frequent basis. The age of your children also comes into play. If you have a nursing infant, for instance, the child will likely spend more time with the mother at first. You can then modify your custody agreement as the child gets older.
Do You Need an Attorney for Child Custody?
You do not necessarily need an attorney when you are dealing with child custody issues, but it is highly recommended you have one. This is an important process. you do not want to miss out on your opportunity to have some form of custody of your children just because you did not know about the legal parameters of child custody. If you are recently divorced, you can likely use the same attorney for your custody case.
Can You Develop Your Own Custody Arrangement?
If you and your former spouse can work together, you can create your own custody plans. However, this is best done under the advisement of legal professionals. Mediation is a good option for this scenario. Mediation allows you both to make your custody decisions with legal expertise available. The custody arrangements are then sent to the judge for approval and implementation.
If you are in a child custody case and need a child custody attorney, contact a law firm near you.