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Child Custody

Custody Rights At Glance

Custody Rights At Glance

Child custody is a serious concern for individuals who have initiated a legal separation or a divorce. An individual’s custody rights will vary, depending upon what type of custody arrangement was established. Generally, a child’s mother and father will share joint custody of their child. This means that both parents with maintain rights and responsibilities regarding the child’s health and well-being. Each parent will have a say in the way that the child is raised and cared for. In addition, a detailed schedule will be created to determine when the child will reside with each parent. 
However, one parent may choose to sue for sole custody of the child. If he/she is awarded sole custody, he/she alone will possess the right and responsibility of raising the child, and he/she will make all medical and educational decisions. In the event that this occurs, the other parent may be granted visitation rights or supervised visitation rights. Visitation rights will allow him/her to visit his/her child for a specified period of time each month. If he/she is only permitted supervised visitation, he/she must be supervised when spending time with his/her child, often by a court official.

What You Need To Know To Win A Custody Battle

What You Need To Know To Win A Custody Battle

In some cases after a divorce, parents will argue over the care of their children. If one side knows they are a better parent or option for full-time care, they will embark in a custody battle to obtain full rights of the child. When filing for custody, it is important to understand the documentation needed to initiate the battle. The documentation needed for a child custody battle is in essence the foundation of the case. Providing solid documentation or evidence against the other parent will bolster your case to receive full custody. 
The primary documentation needed to file for child custody is used to prove to the court system and convince the judge that the issuing party is best suited to develop and care for the child. During custody cases, every minute detail should be elucidated upon: documentation that shows parenting skills, daily interactions of the parent with the child, past conduct, and detailed records of past events to demonstrate your abilities as a parent. In addition, documentation that demonstrates questionable behavior (domestic violence, abuse, drug usage) of the other parent will bolster a child custody case.

Child Custody Hearing At A Glance

Child Custody Hearing At A Glance

When engaging in a child custody battle, the two sides (typically the parents fighting for the rights of custody) will often engage in a bitter and emotional battle to ensure the delivery of their custody rights. All custody trials are administered and overheard by your local state’s family court system. The two sides will present their case in front of a judge, who will then grant a final decision (in accordance with the state’s interpretation of custody laws) regarding who is delivered full custody of the child. 
The two sides, who can include legal professionals in their dispute, will deliver all documents and information as to why they are the appropriate choice for full custody to the judge, and in a broader sense, the jurisdiction or community in which their case is being heard. Although the judge presiding over the case delivers the final custody decision, the court must maintain the interpretation of the state’s views on family laws.

Ins and Outs of Child Custody Laws

Ins and Outs of Child Custody Laws

In the United States, child custody laws will vary from state to state, as it is the state courts that has jurisdiction over issues revolving around divorce and subsequent child custody situations. Therefore, it is important to check the state legislation in order to be aware as to how child custody laws are enforced in a particular state. 
However, it should be noted that there are child custody laws at the federal level The Uniform Child Custody, Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act is a federal law that was implemented to update a previews child custody law, The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act of 1968. 
Only Massachusetts and Vermont are not signatories of the Act, though this particular child custody law deals more issues of child custody that may span state lines and kidnapping. Even though there are various child custody laws in the United States, here are some basic concepts that may be included in the various jurisdictions.
SOLE CUSTODY – Child custody awarded by the courts to one parent because the other is considered to be unfit to care for the child as required by imposed state laws and pre-requisites. Typically speaking, a parent is ruled as unfit to care for a child in the case that there is evidence or history of alcohol or controlled substance abuse, evidence of previous child neglect or abuse, or if the parent has a new partner that has proven to be unfit. Sole custody will still allow the unfit parent visitation rights under certain provisions and circumstances decided by the courts.
PHYSICAL CUSTODY – This kind of child custody is used to describe the parent who is legally allowed to have the child live with him/her. Though the child may have visitation with the other parent, the parent with physical custody is the one that the child currently lives with.
JOINT PHYSICAL CUSTODY – Child custody in which the child spends a significant amount of time living with both parents. Joint physical custody is awarded in certain situations, such as both parents living in the same particular area or relatively close to each other. This allows the child to attend the same school and maintain the same relationships with friends and family members. 
Join physical custody is often the preferred type of child custody when it is a viable option. The separating couple will usually decide the parameters in terms of the living arrangements and time the child is supposed to spend with each. However, if the parents cannot come to an arrangement, the courts may impose a decision they see as best for the parents and child.
LEGAL CUSTODY – Child custody that grants one parent the right to make all the decisions as to how the child is to be raised and as well as providing for the child’s overall well-being. The parent with legal custody can make decisions in regards to the child’s education, healthcare, and religious faith, all without out the requiring the permission or authority of the other parent. However, legal child custody is awarded in certain extreme circumstances.


JOINT LEGAL CUSTODY – Probably the most common type of child custody, which allows for both parents to have input in the decisions in regards to the child’s upbringing. 
This allows for both parents to have an active role in raising the child and possibly create the least amount of problems for the child in terms of mental and emotional suffering. However, a violation of the provisions of joint legal custody can prompt a parent to bring the issue to the courts and request the removal of joint legal custody.

3 Ways to Properly Get Joint Custody

3 Ways to Properly Get Joint Custody

During a child custody dispute, it may be the wishes of either one or both separating parents to obtain joint custody of their children. Joint custody is the type of child custody awarded by the courts in which both parents are awarded custody of the children. 
Joint custody will allow for the children to spend time with both parents, often times living with both parents at the same time. Typically, to get joint custody, there are certain things that must be present, both on a legal plane, as well in terms of the relationship of the couple after the divorce. To get joint custody of children, here are general considerations that may be of some help:
    1.    MAINTAIN A HEALTHY AND FRIENDLY RELATIONSHIP WITH THE FORMER SPOUSE – Though joint custody may prove to be quite beneficial for the children in order to maintain a relationship with both parents, joint custody will only work under certain circumstances. To get custody may only require certain legal requirements in order to be awarded this kind of child custody. 
However, in order to make joint custody work for both the children and the involved former spouses, a friendly and respectful relationship must exist. To get joint custody will inherently mean that there will be the necessity of communication and interaction between both parents. If the reasons and consequences of the result have resulted in negative emotions and feelings to exist between parents, joint custody may not be the best possible solution. 
Therefore, aside from the legal requirements, establishing a healthy and amicable relationship with the former spouse may arguably be the most important element to not only get joint custody, but also to make it work.

    2.    CONSULT THE SERVICES OF A DIVORCE ATTORNEY – The process to get joint custody of children may prove to be quite complex, particularly because the laws and statutes may vary from state to state. Employing the services of an attorney may be the best way to get joint custody. A joint custody petition will be needed for the proposal or request of joint custody to the courts. 
The attorney will be best suited to draft the joint custody petition, though the spouse will be responsible for supplying the necessary information. The petition will and should include reasons as to why joint custody is in the best interest of the child. Furthermore, it may also include information as to how the spouse is preparing and intends to provide for the child while in joint custody.

    3.    OPEN MIND AND WILLINGNESS TO COMPROMISE – To get joint custody would entail communicating such a wish with the former spouse. Therefore, there will be some inherent need to compromise between both parents in order to make joint custody a possibility. Furthermore, because two forms of joint custody apply, such as joint physical custody and joint legal custody, one should determine which is best for the child.
Joint physical custody involves both parents taking care and housing the child, while joint legal custody includes such responsibilities, but grants rights to both parents in regards to the child’s upbringing. In the case of the latter, compromise will be the most important aspect needed to make joint custody work for both the parents, and most importantly, the children involved. Compromise in terms of visitation rights will often times be the issue commonly discussed involving joint custody matters. 

How To Get Through Child Custody Dispute

How To Get Through Child Custody Dispute

Divorce will certainly prove to be an extremely difficult thing to deal with, though the stress and frustration are bound to be further increased when children are involved. Not only is a child custody a difficult issue to deal with on a legal level, but it is far more taxing in terms of the emotional, mental, and physical tolls it can take. 
A child custody battle, aside from taking issues such as financial considerations and the legal ramifications involved, parent involved in a divorce are bound to be more concerned as to how their children to react to the divorce, particularly on the emotional level. The following are a few aspects to have in mind when going through a child custody battle can prove not only to help the divorcing parents, but their children as well
KEEP THE CHILDREN AWAY FROM THE DIVORCE AND CHILD CUSTODY LEGAL ASPECTS – It may seem that a divorce or child custody dispute may surround a person’s entire life during such legal processes. A child custody battle is bound to cause frustration and create an environment in which emotions can run high. However, it is crucial to try and control such emotions, particularly around the children. 
Though it will be hard to undertake, it is important to keep the legal proceedings separate from the children. Letting emotions out in regards to the child custody dispute in front of the children can lead to certain negative psychological reactions to take place, often times having the children blame themselves for the divorce. 
It may be difficult to not discuss the issues surrounding the divorce or child custody battle in front of the children, which is why it may be best to always meet with the involved attorneys at a neutral location, such as the lawyer’s office. Discussing these issues with the lawyers and other spouse will be necessary, but such issues should be avoid as best as possible in terms of discussing them in front of children.

KEEP EMOTIONS CONTROLLED AS BEST AS POSSIBLE – Another difficult task to undertake, but will prove to be extremely helpful. Though it may be compelling to discuss the other parent in negative terms, regardless if he/she is at fault for the divorce, it is something that should be avoided at all costs. The marital problems that occur that lead to a divorce and subsequent child custody issues are not related to the children, and thus, should not be discussed with them. 
Though it is important to have the children understand what is going on, it is best to use the utmost discretion and speak only in positive terms. Blaming the other parent will not help resolve the issue, and saying such things in front of the children is bound to cause more damage than good, particularly to the children themselves. It is often recommended to seek out some sort of counseling during divorce procedures because it gives the opportunity and the proper forum to vent and discuss such issues for the purpose of finding a way to keep emotions in control.

Child Custody Process At A Glance

Child Custody Process At A GlanceIt is not uncommon for a divorce dispute to take quite some time to resolve. However, in cases of a lengthy divorce dispute, the pressing issue as to which parent is to have custody over the involved children may need to be resolved first. The child custody process in itself can also take a lengthy amount of time to settle as well, during which there will be no clear determination as to who will have child custody. In such situations, interim child custody may be an option. Interim child custody is a request or motion provided by the parties involved in order to determine a temporary period in which one particular parent will be granted custody while the divorce or child custody process is finalized. Interim child custody, in theory, is not meant to affect the final decision as to which parent will be granted child custody. However, due to issues of practicality, it is quite common for the courts to grant permanent child custody to the parent who is awarded interim child custody.

Interim Child Custody At A Glance

Interim Child Custody At A Glance

If a child’s health or well-being is threatened or if a family is being investigated on certain claims, such as child abuse or neglect, a court may establish an interim child custody order. An interim order will place the child in the custody of an appointed individual. Generally, the initial interim order can endure for a period of 8 weeks. 
If the investigation or situation is not resolved during this 8 week period, the court can renew the interim order for a period of 28 days. Following the expiration of the 28 day period, the court can renew the interim child custody order again. The order will continue to be renewed until the situation has been successfully resolved. If the family has initiated significant changes or if vital evidence has been obtained, the family can petition for the dissolution of the interim order. However, if the court believes that the household presents an emotional, psychological, or physical threat to the child, the interim order will be maintained.

All You Need to Know About Child Custody

All You Need to Know About Child Custody

A parent with control over the decisions regarding raising their children subsequent to a custody battle is left in command of determining religious education and healthcare choices. 
Types of Custody

The courts have the opportunity to choose among several types of custody. 
Temporary custody is the child custody awarded to a parent during the process of divorce or separation that grant custody of a parent with full rights of custody to the exclusion of the other parent. The non-custodial parent can receive limited rights in some cases, as well as supervised visitation rights. 
Joint custody gives equal rights to both parents to make decisions concerning the upbringing of the child. Courts award joint custody in cases where both parents can properly perform their duties as parents. If an applicant parent to sole custody, the parent applicant to rebut a presumption that joint custody is in the child.
Sole custody of one parent does not preclude the non-custodial parent from visiting with the child in question with the exception of abuse or criminal activity. In the event that a sole custodian agrees to visitation rights for the non-custodial parent in a child custody case, the courts may still impose restrictions on visits by non-custodial parents.

Determining Child Custody

The court can appoint a consultant such as a forensic psychiatrist, psychologist or social worker. The assessor provides information with regard to the family involved in the custody case in question. The evaluator is asked to speak with family members and other mental health professionals who will be – or have been – working with family. The counselor will then be asked to send a report to the court; the counselor may also be asked to serve as a witness in the case.


Child Custody Legal Proceedings
The divorce defines the rules for childcare; if the spouses have children together and married parents have joint protection on the rights of parents and children are equal. Every parent is entitled to identical opportunities to gain custody of the child upon separation. 


Third Party Custodians

The court may grant custody of the child to a third party when – or if – the third party has claimed responsibility; grandparents or close familial relatives are often regarded as third party custodians. If a married couple shares multiple children, the court has the power to not only separate the children, but also determine which children – if any – would be better suited with specific parents. However, for reasons of moral support, children are kept together in most cases.


Visitation and Child Custody

The court has the power to deny visitation; cases in which courts deny access to children often include non-custodial parents who have been physically or have emotionally abused the child in the past and/or non-custodial parent suffers from serious mental illness, which can contribute sacrificing a child’s emotional wellbeing. Parents who are in prison or have a criminal record are not automatically denied visitation rights, but are seldom considered as custodians.

Child Custody Forms

Child Custody Forms

ALABAMA

Petition (ASBPS-05)

 

ALASKA

 

Complaint (DR-420)

 

Application (DR-425)

 

CALIFORNIA

Order (FL-355)

 

COLORADO

Petition (JDF-1413)

 

CONNECTICUT

Application (JD-FM-161)

 

DELAWARE

Petition (345)

 

FLORIDA

Petition (12-902(d))

 

IDAHO

Petition (CAO-13-3)

 

ILLINOIS

Packet For Divorce (Including Child Custody)

 

INDIANA

Petition (TCM-PO-0101)

 

MAINE

Affidavit (CV-051)

 

MARYLAND

Complaint (DR 4)

 

MASSACHUSETTS

Complaint (CJ-D 109 )

 

MINNESOTA

Affidavit (CHC105)

 

MISSOURI

Petition (Packet)

 

NEBRASKA

Complaint for Divorce

 

NEW JERSEY

Motion to Establish Child Custody

 

NEW YORK

Petition (GF-17)

 

NEVADA

Petition For Child Custody and Support

 

NORTH CAROLINA

Packet  (Packet)

 

OREGON

Petition for Child Custody

 

PENNSYLVANIA

Complaint (Forest County)

Complaint (Warren County)

 

SOUTH CAROLINA

Application (SCCA458A)

Complaint for Child Custody

 

VERMONT

Affidavit (834)

 

VIRGINIA

Petition for Emergency Medical Child Custody

 

WASHINGTON

Information Sheet for Child Custody

 

WEST VIRGINIA

Petition  (SCA-FC-261)