Nowadays people get divorced daily. The reasons can be different but the result is always the same in the couples that already have children. The most important question that arise during and after the process of divorce is, who is going to have custody of the child/children.
Child custody is a legal term that defines the relationship between the child and the parent, where the parent has the right to make decisions for the child and take care of him/her. The decision with which parent the child will reside is made, based on the child’s best interests. That means that the interests of the parents, child’s wishes and child’s relationship with each parent are taken into consideration. Sometimes, people other than child’s parents can obtain custody, including relatives such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, close family friends, or other people who wish to get custody of a child. It is usually called “non-parental” or “third party” custody.
When both parents share custody of a child after divorce, and make decisions about the child or house the child together it is called joint custody. Joint custody may be physical or legal.
Physical custody determines where the child will live and with whom. Legal custody gives the custodial parent the right to decide about child’s health care, education and welfare. Sole custody is awarded often when it can be shown that one parent is unfit to be a parent, often due to financial, mental, drug or alcohol problems.
When both parents can’t agree over the custody matters, it is better to seek help of a mediator. Child custody mediation can help resolve disputes and disagreements between both parents about the parenting plan. If mediation isn’t enough, you can always contact a family lawyer to help you with your case. Remember that child custody and visitation laws vary from state to state so you should make sure to consult a licensed attorney in your state. Our qualified lawyers will compete to handle your case!