Divorce and Child Custody: What You Should Know


Divorce is known for being one of the most tricky situations that many American families have to face. Not only is this a family concern, but this is also known for being a legal concern. Although divorce might not seem like the most pressing matter in this day and age, it’s still known for being one of the most prevalent legal cases in the United States. In fact, there are around 23 million American children that are currently living in households that only have a single parent.

But even though many think that divorce might seem like a straightforward process, there are many complex issues and factors that attorneys and families will need to consider in this situation. Many legal professionals will need to consider that individuals who are younger than 18 will be subject to child custody. This process is known for being a contentious issue.

Let’s face it: the process of getting a divorce is a time-consuming issue, and people want to get it over with as soon as possible while still ensuring that everything is in order. That said, there legal professionals that can help get you through this mentally and emotionally taxing legal process.

However, the focus will be on who will have the legal rights to the child, especially since they will be the ones that will be affected most by the divorce process.

But first, it’s important that we can consider the following factors that will affect child custody and how divorce will play a major role in this legal situation. Here’s what you’ll need to know.

Types of Child Custody Legal Arrangements

But right before we discuss how you can reach a middle ground for child custody, we must consider the different legal arrangements in this situation.

What is child custody? This will usually refer to where the child will be staying, referred to as physical custody after an agreement has been confirmed. Child custody will also decide who has the legal right to make decisions on the child’s upbringing, usually known as the legal custody of the child. For every situation, parents will need to share different responsibilities. However, there are situations where the court will become aware of one parent solely on the legal right for the child.

Here are some key things you’ll need to consider:

  • Physical custody — This type of custody refers to the right of where the child should be living. However, the right is normally shared by both parents through a scheduled joint physical custody.
  • Joint custody — Joint physical custody will usually refer to parents needing to share time and the place of accommodation for the child. Although, this does not necessarily need to be split in half. However, if both parties cannot agree, they will impose a schedule.
  • Sole physical custody — As the name suggests, the child will have a permanent home of residence in the custodial parent’s home.
  • Visitation rights — Even though sole custodial parents will have legal rights, both the non-custodial and the custodial parent will need to follow a certain schedule. The non-custodial individual will need first to ask consent from the custodial parent for visitation rights. There are serious legal consequences if the non-custodial parent will take the child away without permission.

As you can see, there are a lot of things that you’ll need to consider when it comes to your child’s custody. Setting clear and defined boundaries when it comes to child custody can eliminate any problems in the future. Even though the process might seem complex, professional family law attorneys can help mediate and reach a conclusion in this situation. Not only are these attorneys well-versed in the divorce process, but they are also known for making quick and timely decisions.


Reaching an Agreement

Next, one of the most important parts of a legal dispute is reaching a middle ground and a legal agreement in this situation. However, it’s important to note that the legal process should be your last option in this situation. If needed, the custody agreement can be solved informally through a mediator without the need for a court process. Not only does this help save resources for both parties, but this is emotionally less taxing for the child in question.

Ultimately, the process will vary depending on the scenario at hand. But one of the “strongest” forms of legal agreements should be written down and recorded. This is often called a settlement agreement or a parenting agreement. This document will then be shown to the court for final approval, which means that the party with the legal right over the child will have custody.

No matter what the situation might be, it’s important first to consult a legal professional in this matter. Although most individuals might think that issue of child custody could be agreed upon outside the court, it should not be taken lightly to any known degree. Finding a well-versed attorney can expedite the process and cut down your expenditure that could cause problems in the long term.

Being able to take control of the current legal situation can not only help set clear boundaries but also decide on the future of your child. That said, it won’t hurt to get a legal professional on your side.

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