During separations and divorces, the establishment of visitation and custody are some of the biggest challenges faced by parents. During these times, courts make decisions based on the child’s best interests. The determination of a child’s best interests depends on factors such as:
* Their health, gender and age
* Their parents’ health and lifestyle
* The child’s emotional ties to both parents
* The parents’ ability to provide for the child
* The quality of local schools
* The preferences of the child (if the child is over a certain age)
In this article, the Law Offices of Joseph Mendoza will discuss the different kinds of child custody.
Different Custody Arrangements
During divorce and separation, there are two types of child custody. Legal custody is the responsibility and right to make childrearing decisions on matters such as medical care, education and discipline. Legal custody is typically jointly awarded, meaning that parents share those rights.
In physical custody, a parent has the legal right to have the child live in their home. Most courts also order joint custody here, but the time is very rarely split 50/50. According to the best interests of the child, the court will award physical or legal custody on a sole or joint basis.
Establishment of Visitation and Child Custody
There are two ways to establish visitation and custody:
By agreement -: In an ideal situation, both parents will agree to a schedule for visitation. Some states require parents to meet with a court-appointed mediator, and others leave it up to each side and their lawyers. These agreements come with a lot of leeway, and courts rarely interfere.
By an order of the court -: If parents cannot come to an agreement, there will be a court hearing where each side will get time to present their case. The judge won’t know the ins and outs of the parents’ schedules, but because an agreement wasn’t reached, they will have to come up with a schedule of some sort.
Hiring an Attorney for Child Custody and Visitation Cases
If you are a parent needing to modify or establish a child visitation or custody order, you should consult with a lawyer. A Child custody attorney in Bisbee knows how to deal with family courts, and can protect your interests and your relationship with your child.
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