Child Custody: Understanding your options
Let's face it - no one enjoys going through the divorce process.
Divorce can be difficult enough, and yet becomes an even more fragile situation when children are involved. It's the responsibility of the parents to ensure that the divorce process is as smooth and painless as possible for the child.
Thus, surveying your options during a custody settlement is a necessity. By becoming educated on the subject, and working with a divorce lawyer, parents can avoid causing their children excessive emotional harm.
When at all possible, it is best to keep splitting up a civil matter. Although many couples find it hard to achieve this type of symbiotic view on the situation, it's very important to the child that there are no overt hard feelings on either side of the table. Even if the relationship is no longer strong, it is important to talk together about the potential side-effects to the child(ren) that could result from a vicious divorce.
Depending upon the circumstances of the divorce, there are several custody arrangements that may be made by the court. If the details of the divorce point to a civil bond between the two people, joint custody of the child will often be awarded. Joint custody means that each parent's views, opinions and decisions are given equal weight. Sole custody, on the other hand, allows decision-making power for only one parent. Legal and Physical custody refer to the parent's ability to make decisions regarding the child's welfare and their ability to allow the child to stay with them respectively. Depending upon the final decision, legal and physical custody can be granted either as joint or sole custody.
There are many things that factor into a court's decision to grant either joint or sole custody of the child. For one, it is important to discuss things such as where the child's friends and family members live, what their school and extracurricular activities consist of, the state of their medical insurance or college funds, and whether or not either parent can leave the area. The needs of both parent and child are abound, and although the child's opinion can be taken into consideration at a later age, the decision is quite often in the hands of the parents, and the judge.
One way to ensure that your child's needs are met is to utilize a divorce attorney or child custody lawyer during this difficult process. This will make certain that not only does your child get what's best, but that you and your former partner do as well. Utilizing a divorce lawyer is one of the best ways to ensure a fair result for all parties involved, and can allow parents to remain civil with one another.
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Content authored by Frank Fernandez