A Quick Primer on Modern Custody Cases

girl-356236_640Did you know that the first contact the average person has with a lawyer is through the media? Often time this takes place via a television advertisement, newspapers, or magazines. Generally, the legal professional is involved with some form of criminal law or high finance. However, there are several branches of the law. People have probably heard about those unsettling divorce cases that involved the custody of minor children. The family attorney is consulted to represent the divorcing parents. Those lawyers are involved with family law. The family law attorney is a very important legal professional that offers legal representation, support, and guidance in the divorce, guardianship, and many other proceedings. These attorneys are also the ones handle child custody issues.

Child Custody

One of the key issues that concern people in a divorce, is the custody of their children. Often, there is growing bitterness between the divorcing couple, and they are unable to resolve the issue in a civil minor. However, a legal professional is able to ease some of the bitterness between the couple and guide them to being cooperative long enough for the courts to examine the issues. The courts are always on the side of the child and want to do what is best for the child. Some of the key issues that the court examines in a proceeding are:

  • The age of the child
  • The child’s mental state
  • The child’s physical health
  • Child’s emotional connection to parents
  • Parent’s finances
  • Willingness of the parent to provide a stable home
  • Social environment
  • Schooling issues

Custody Decisions

Custody decisions are usually resolved two ways. The custody decision is reached in court. For example, a family court judge makes the decision concerning custody for the divorcing parents. Or the decision might be resolved out of the court. In this circumstance, the parents reach a settlement with the help of their family attorney or mediator.

Types of Custody

Legal Custody. A court or lawyers might agree upon legal custody of the minor child. The parent with legal custody has the right to make decisions about important matters that affect the child. For example, their education, religion, healthcare, residence, and discipline issues.

Physical Custody. Certainly, legal custody covers the important decision made about the child’s well being. However, physical custody refers to the custodial parent. In other words, the right of the parent to have the child in their residence for most of the time. The other parent is the referred to as the noncustodial parent, this parent is typically required to pay child support.

The fact is that each state has their own set of rules concerning child custody rights. Legal professionals state both parents should seek legal counsel for further guidance.