Understanding the Difficulties in Child Custody Disputes
Child custody disputes arise most commonly when there is a parental divorce or separation and in cases where children have two parents who were never married and who do not live together. The children of these families can be affected in countless ways. If you are going through a divorce or separation, there are a few aspects you should consider. Seeking the help of a qualified attorney can guide you through the process. He or she can counsel you to determine what factors will affect your child custody case.
If you have a child custody case in the state of California, some of the most common factors to consider are:
- Considering the best interests of your child;
- The ability of either parent to co-parent;
- The relationship between parent and child and other immediate family;
- A parent’s record of domestic violence, drug use history, as well as criminal history; and/or
- The child’s wishes which may be considered if he or she is mature enough.
Undeniably, children of separated parents have the right to experience and enjoy their life with both parents. This, of course, can only take place if the child is cared for in an appropriate manner with each parent.
Legal and Physical Custody
There are many segments of your child’s care that can be discussed during the progression of a separation. When the issue concerns custody matters, however, factors generally fall into the following categories:
- Legal Custody
- A joint legal custody usually elicits that both parents have equal responsibility in making essential decisions concerning the education, welfare, and overall health of the child.
- Sole legal custody refers to the right held by only one parent to make essential decisions concerning the health, welfare, and education of the child.
If a parent holds legal custody of the child, he or she has the right to make decisions concerning the child’s:
- School he or she will attend;
- Any childcare he or she will receive;
- Religious undertakings the child can partake;
- Any medical care or facility the child can visit;
- Where the child will reside.
While parents with legal custody have the right to make decisions concerning their child, this does not necessitate their agreement on these decisions. Parents with legal custody are entitled to their opinion but in order to avoid conflicts, both parents should be open to communication and discuss the decisions in order to come to a mutual agreement.
Under physical custody, a joint custody refers to a child living with both parents.
Sole custody refers to the child living and spending most of his or her time with one parent while visiting the other parent.
It is important to understand that with a joint physical custody, a child is not required to exactly divide his or her time with either parent equally. It is common to see a child spend slightly more time with one parent than the other since it can be challenging to divide the time in exactitude. Also, if one parent usually has the child a majority of the time, this parent is recognized as the primary custodial parent.
The Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Child Custody Lawyer
Child custody disputes can be very difficult to understand. While divorce and separations can be stressful in themselves, a parent can undergo tremendous pressure when deciding what is in the best interest of his or her child. If you are going through a separation, an expert attorney can guide you through the process of understanding your legal rights as well as your limitations. The child custody attorneys at the Knez Law Group have many years of experience in dealing with child custody cases. The Knez Law Group is a team of dedicated attorneys who will vigorously champion for your legal rights as a parent.