In the area of child custody there are a number of stipulations regarding where the child or children physically reside, the amount of time the child is obligated to spend with each parent, and who retains legal custody over the child. This article discusses the various components of child custody to help you better understand the breadth and scope of child custody in the eyes of the law.
The Legal Aspect of Custody
One of the most important aspects of a child custody hearing relates to the legal custody of the child. A parent who is granted legal custody over his or her child has the power to make any and all decisions on the child's behalf that require the legal consent of a parent or guardian.
Legal custody includes the power to make decisions that affect a child's schooling or medical care. Generally, courts will award joint-legal custody to both parents unless either parent has a history of abuse, neglect, or otherwise irresponsible behavior considered detrimental to a child's upbringing.
Joint Custody of A Child
In custody battles, parents awarded joint custody essentially resume their respective, equal roles as mother and father despite the fact that they no longer live together. Under joint custody, both parents have an equal say in the upbringing of their child.
This means that any decisions regarding the child's education, medical care, extracurricular activities, and religious indoctrination fall on the shoulders of both parents. Courts expect parents to behave pragmatically and in a manner that is beneficial for the child.
The courts also require that parents put together a visitation schedule that grants both parents equal time with their child. Normally, if separating or divorced parents still live in close proximity to one another (within an hour or so), and it's feasible for the child regarding school and other activities, most children will spend time with each parent in two or three-week increments.
Sole Custody Of A Child
Parents granted sole custody of their children retain complete physical and legal custody of the children. All rights regarding the child's education, residence, discipline, and other decisions that impact the child-rearing process reside with the sole custodian.
Most often, one parent is granted sole custody when the other has repeatedly failed to demonstrate his or her financial or emotional stability. Additionally, a parent may also be awarded full custody when the other's lifestyle is simply not conducive to a child's upbringing, such as a parent who lets his or her child eat copious amounts of junk food whenever they please or who lets them watch inappropriate movies or television shows.
Ultimately, there are a few different aspects of child custody, and an experienced child custody attorney can help you better understand what kinds of things the courts consider when deciding whether to grant joint or sole physical and legal custody.Share
5 March 2015
When it comes to your personal rights, how much do you really understand the law. About ten years ago, I realized that I didn't really understand my rights when I was accused of something that I knew I didn't do. I could tell that I needed to work with a lawyer who had a better understanding of what I was up against, so I contacted a local team that could help. They were really incredible to work with, and I was impressed with how well they were able to fight the charges. This blog is here for anyone struggling with legal drama.