For parents, one of the most stressful parts of a separation or divorce is determining child custody
. In an ideal world, two parents could come to a mutual agreement about how their time with their children should be shared. Unfortunately, the reality is that child custody
battles are not uncommon. If you find yourself going to court as a result of a custody dispute, it’s vital that you secure the services of a seasoned child custody attorney
. The decisions made in family court will have a lasting effect on your life and the lives of your children. That’s why our team works tirelessly on our clients’ custody cases to ensure that the best interests of your child are adequately represented in your court ruling.
What to Expect from a Custody Hearing
When two parents cannot agree on terms for their shared custody
, a family court judge will be tasked with determining what is in the best interest of the child or children in question. When you contact us for a child custod
y consultation, we talk to you about the specifics of your unique case. From there, we will explain what factors a judge will weigh to determine the ruling in your custody case. For example, if one parent has a history of domestic violence or substance abuse, the judge would likely be compelled to grant primary custody to the other parent.
However, in many cases both parents are equally equipped to care for their child. In those cases, the judge would likely grant equal custody to each parent. Other factors that may impact a judge’s decision is how far each parent lives from each other geographically, their work schedules, their income levels, and living situation. Finally, a judge may wish to interview your child to get a little bit of insight as to what type of living arrangement would make your child happy. This can be complicated because, in most cases, a child would never want to speak out in favor of one parent. Even so, the judge may use indirect questions to try to determine in which household your child feels most comfortable.
Different Types of Custody
Depending on the judge’s finding, there are two main types of custody
they can grant to a parent, physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody determines the amount of time a child will spend in the physical custody
of each parent. In order to grant any amount of physical custody
to a parent, they will likely have to show that they are able to provide a certain level of care and necessities to their child. For example, they may have to prove that they can provide their child with their own room or than their world schedule will allow them the time necessary to care for their child. Legal custody is slightly different. Legal custody grants a parent the right to make important decisions for their child. This includes anything concerning their education, health care, and religious practices.
In the event that one parent is now found capable of sharing custody with their child, they may be granted visitation rights instead. When a visitation schedule is put in place, the parent will have a designated date and time each week or month when they are allowed visit with their child. In rare cases, visitations need to be supervised by a court-appointed person. However, in most cases, this is not necessary. It’s important when setting a visitation schedule that you take care not to create any scheduling conflicts with our child’s everyday life. Consider their school and extra-curricular activities schedule when setting the designated time for your visitation. When you work with one of our family law attorneys
, we can help you set up a visitation schedule the works for both you and your child.