Child Custody, Frequently Asked Questions

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Child Custody, Frequently Asked Questions

Family law can be complicated and often stressful, especially if there are children involved. If you are in a child custody battle or are looking to prevent one, there are important questions you may have. The following highlights some of the most common child custody questions and the answers to them.

In a divorce or separation, if one parent moves out of the home and leaves the child with the other parent, will this hurt that parent’s chances of obtaining the child’s custody at a later time?

Every case is different, but generally, if a parent leaves a child behind, this can affect that parent’s rights at a later time. This can happen even if the parent left for safety reasons or to avoid an unpleasant situation. Courts generally interpret this as the parent’s unwillingness to care for the child. Further, a judge may be further inclined to give custody to the parent who is situated in the home where the child has a regular routine in.

When it comes to awarding child custody, are mothers considered above fathers?

Generally, most states will require that custody be determined on the basis of what is in the child’s best interest. This is without regard to either parent. In the event that both parents are capable, they will both be considered for the child’s custody. While stereotypes are not as common, divorcing parents will generally opt for the children to be cared for by a mother.

If you are a father seeking physical custody of your child, obtain the support of an attorney who is qualified in family law. This attorney can outline your legal rights and help you understand what is the best method to obtain the custody of your child. Do not allow gender stereotypes prevent you from seeking the custody of your child. You may have just as equal of an opportunity as the mother.

Is a child’s custody always awarded to a single parent or can it be given to both?

A child’s custody, if allowable, will always be given to both parents. For the most part, a child’s custody will be awarded to both parents in partial terms. This is known as joint custody. A joint custody can be in one of the following forms.

  1. Joint Physical Custody
    1. The child will spend about half of his or her time with one parent and the other half with the other.
  2. Joint Legal Custody
    1. The parents will have equal voices when making important decisions for the child, which includes: education, medical, or even religious matters.
  3. Both Joint Physical Custody and Joint Legal Custody
    1. Parents can have both joint physical and joint legal custody of the child.

Every state has different requirements when it comes to a child’s custody. If you are unsure of what your rights are, consult with a professional attorney who can guide you through a child custody process.

How is visitation determined?

When a family court judge awards physical custody of a child to one parent and a reasonable amount of visitation to the other parent, the parent with the child’s physical custody is generally the one to decide what is reasonably allowed. The laws regarding this practice may vary by region. Consult a professional attorney who can help you determine what your legal rights are as a parent.