Custody of your child is an emotionally challenging and emotionally draining legal process. No matter the reason why there is a custody dispute, you and your child are likely experiencing a great many emotions. Understanding the legal process ahead may give you some relief. By working with a good child custody attorney, he or she can guide you through the process.
Child Custody Determination
There are many reasons why child custody becomes an issue. These can include:
- Abuse or neglect
- Changing living situations
When child custody becomes an issue for you, the court will only look for what is in your child’s best interest. This is the standard used to make a custody determination. Not only will the court consider the information above, but it may also consider:
- The age and preference of your child
- The suitability of each parent to provide a stable home
- Your child’s relationship with both parents
The end result is a determination of where your child will live. This is a complex and time-consuming legal process. That’s why it’s so important to have a trusted legal team on your side.
What a Custody Arrangement Looks Like
No two custody arrangements are identical, but there are often some commonalities. Unless there is a good reason why one parent should not be in your child’s life, both parents will continue to play a role. If you receive custody of your child, that doesn’t mean your child’s other parent is no longer in their life. Remember, the court is always looking out for the best interests of your child, which may mean your child’s other parent has visitation with your child.
There are two types of custody: physical and legal. Physical custody is where your child lives the majority of the time. Only one parent has physical custody. Legal custody is shared by both parents unless the court finds a good reason to exclude one parent from legal custody. This gives both parents the authority to make decisions on behalf of your child, such as schooling, medical, and other parental choices.
It’s also important to note that you can modify a custody arrangement. If you have evidence that your child’s other parent is abusive or neglecting your child in some way, it’s important that you bring this to the court’s attention to make a change. The change could be as simple as adjusting visitation or as severe as removing your child’s other parent from involvement in your child’s life.
Contact an Attorney for Help
You deserve a family law lawyer you can trust to help determine child custody. Your lawyer will evaluate your case and personal situation so that he or she can help you find a path forward that is best for you and your child.