With so many marriages ending in divorce in the United States, it’s not uncommon that your child or children may be involved in a child custody agreement at some point during their lives. This process may be agreed upon easily by both parents, but often it is incredibly stressful and difficult to deal with as a parent and as a child.
If you’ve decided to divorce, one or both parents may ask themselves, "Should I get a child custody lawyer?" This is especially true and more necessary if you and your child’s other parent don’t agree on which type of custody arrangement would work best for you and your child. Let’s talk about the different child custody types and what are common child custody agreements.
The most common type of custody arrangement in the United States is joint custody. This can be defined in two ways: joint physical custody, and joint legal custody. So what’s the difference between the two?
In joint physical custody, each parent will have their child move back and forth between households. This may be split into arrangements like every other day at one parent’s home and then the other, or four days at one parent’s, then the next three at the other. They may even have a Monday through Friday set up at one parent’s home and the weekends at another parent’s residence. Finally, a common arrangement is having one full week with one parent, then the next full week at the other parent’s home.
With joint legal custody, both parents have a say in certain big life decisions involving their child. Examples of this include where the child goes to school, what religion, if any, the child will be raised in, and who will be responsible for insuring the child through their work. Some arrangements will involve one parent having full-time physical custody while both parents have joint legal custody, to share in the responsibility of making big decisions regarding the child.
Another type of child custody is where one parent is awarded sole custody of their child. This usually involves said parent having full-time, physical custody of the child. The other parent may or may not have visitation rights. Losing visitation rights is generally not very common. It’s usually only used if the non-custodial parent presents a danger to the child. Being abusive or having a drug or alcohol problem are reasons a parent may lose their visitation rights with their child.
In summary, if either or both parents involved in a divorce situation have any reservations or concerns about custody issues, it’s advisable to seek legal representation regarding their child or children. Family law attorneys have the best training and know the law well enough to be sure you get a fair shake during a child custody trial. Something of such importance should always be considered in these family and legal situations.
Categorised in: Child Custody