Not all marriages work; that’s a fact. While some partnerships may last for a long period despite the challenges, some even a lifetime, it cannot be denied that some couples grow apart for various reasons. In 2018, the United States recorded more than 782,038 divorces and annulments. Recent consensus identified the leading causes of the breakdown of marriages: commitment issues, infidelity, and persistent conflicts or arguments.
Divorce, or any legal action for that matter, is complex and may take some time before they achieve resolution. The process is arduous, exhausting, and financially draining. Having children can also add another layer of complication in the process of divorce.
When talking about divorce, it’s also important to understand child custody. Child custody battles between parents can be a messy affair. But above all else, the well-being of the child must be considered. In a recent study, children of divorced parents are more prone to experiencing physical and mental health issues. These issues can manifest themselves in different forms like weak constitutions, dipping performance in schools, and aloofness among their peers.
As parents, it is important to discern what is best for your child. Your judgment might be clouded because of your involvement, but nothing is more important than having open communication with your son or daughter. It is important to ensure that they are listened to, and their voices are taken into consideration.
What You Should Remember About Custody Battles
Aside from your child’s best interest, it is also necessary to equip yourself with possible outcomes in the custody battle. As in cases concerning family, the court will decide who to grant custody to concerning the child’s best interest. Of course, each parent can prove that they are more capable of looking out for their child. But, ultimately, it is the court’s decision that will determine who gets the custody. It will tremendously help if you put forward a strong claim that can be evidenced through plans to raise your child.
It is also important to look into other possibilities other than full custody like joint legal and physical custody. How are these different? Joint legal custody is the authority of both parents to make decisions for their child regarding their education and other important aspects of their life. Both parents have the right to decide on what’s best for the children unless the court rules that having joint legal custody is against the child’s best interest.
But a parent can be given sole legal custody for various reasons. An example would be in circumstances wherein the other parent is incapacitated or incapable of performing their duty as a parent, such as being under the influence of drugs, then sole legal custody can be awarded.
Parents can decide on their child’s life with legal custody on the following: education, religion, mental well-being, and health care, extracurricular activities like sports, travel, and residence.
On the other hand, physical custody is the opportunity for parents to spend time with their child. Much like legal custody, physical custody can be either joint or sole physical custody. When the court decides to give both parents joint custody, it does not necessarily mean that they must split the time with their child exactly in half. Arrangements can be made with a parent have a little more time with the child than the other. That parent is considered the primary custodial parent.
On the other hand, if it is sole physical custody, the court grants one of the parents the only physical custody while the other parent can be granted visiting rights, depending on the court if it will grant it.
Generally, the court can grant custody depending on circumstances. For example, parents can have joint legal custody and joint physical custody. It means that both parents have the power to decide on their child, and both have the right to live and spend time with their child. It is also possible for the court to decide that parents have joint legal custody but awarded one parent the sole physical custody.
Consult Lawyers and Experts
Besides knowing the differences, it is also important to know the specifics of custody lawsuits in the specific state you live in. As such, the best action is, of course, to consult a family or divorce lawyer, one that is specialized in family law, custody battle, and even divorce. These divorce lawyers have the deep expertise to even help in custody. It is best to visit law firms that are a one-stop shop.
If it is a matter regarding child custody, it is best to call in experts in family law and divorce. More than anyone, they can help in the mediation process, especially during the custody battle. Getting that extra nudge of help will be beneficial not only in divorce but also for the children’s peace and protection during the transition period.