The Most Common Questions About Child Custody

When you’re involved in a divorce and you have children, the experience can be more emotionally taxing for everyone involved. If you are curious about the questions that are most commonly asked in a child custody hearing, read on to see a few.

What is The Difference Between Physical and Legal Custody?

This first question is important as each term has a different connotation. Physical custody is simply where the child lives, so parents can have shared physical custody by splitting time spent with the child, for instance. Legal custody, on the other hand, is the legal ability to make important decisions on your child’s behalf, such as where they will go to school, and what religion they will practice.

How Do The Courts Determine Who Will Get Child Custody?

While this is sometimes an outcome, the courts don’t like to make the decision, rather preferring for the parents to work together and come to an agreement. This could be by themselves or with the help of a mediator, a failure to which the court will make a decision based on the best interests of the child. To do this, they will consider the financial, mental, and physical status of each parent, the home environment offered by each parent, and the child’s personal preference if he or she is at least 12 years of age. In slightly more than 51% of child custody decisions, both parents come to an agreement for the mother to be the custodial parent, and in these cases, there is an easier ending to the case.

Should I Hire a Child Custody Lawyer?

In most cases, this is not necessary because a custody agreement can be worked on between the parents. There are some situations, however, that call for hiring a lawyer, and these include when one parent wants to get full custody against the wishes of the other parent, one parent is relocating or remarrying, or one parent has no faith in the abilities of the other parent as a custodian of the child.

The matter of a child’s custody is a sensitive one, and while no parent wants to be told they cannot have custody, it is important to do what is best for the child in the end. If there is a solution that will end the matter amicably, it is best to agree to it and avoid further stressing all parties.

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