child custody lawyer speaking to her client

Child Custody Decisions in Divorce: A Guide

Child custody is a subject that is mostly spoken about in the United States. The rate of divorce is high, and for this reason, many ex-partners are filing for child custody. This guide teaches you how child custody decisions are usually made.

Divorce and Child Custody

If you are a parent who was married to a partner who did not meet your standards and you want a divorce, you need to think about your kids. Therefore, you should sit down with your ex-partner, whether you are still thinking of the divorce or you are already in the process of it. Mediation will save you time and money otherwise spent in court.

Agree on how to take care of your kids after the divorce. It is fast and much easier to sit down with child custody lawyers and make an out-of-court decision on who will get child custody. The lawyers will observe child custody laws, so you know you are in good hands.

However, if for some reason, you cannot sit down, then it is safe to proceed to court. You will file for child custody rights immediately after the divorce has been finalized. Work closely with a child custody attorney to make sure you are taking the right steps.

There are 1,315,561 lawyers in the United States, so you cannot miss finding one who understands your situation.

A family court judge will make a decision based on the arguments brought by your child custody lawyer and the other partner’s lawyer. If you are charged in a criminal case for whatever reason, work with a criminal defense attorney to defend yourself. This is because the other divorce lawyer will use that information to win. Thus, it is vital to work with a highly-qualified criminal defense attorney if you are in such a situation.

Respecting the procedures and living in a kid-friendly environment will increase your chances of getting child custody. However, it is hard to predict this aspect when the court is the decision-maker.

Child Custody Decisions of Unmarried People

When an unmarried couple has kids and then breaks up, the process of making child custody decisions is different than if the couple was legally married. Statutes in some states require that the mother gets full physical child custody unless the father takes action.

An irresponsible father usually doesn’t have any chance of winning child custody, especially if the mother has proof that she has been taking care of every need.

If the unmarried couple cannot reach an agreement outside of court, then it is time to involve a family court judge.

The good thing with unmarried couple child custody issues is that it often takes a short time. The visitations to court are less because the judge is only concerned about the child. Divorce issues such as division of property and alimony are not discussed. The ultimate decision of the court is who will be the primary caretaker of the child.

Non-Parental Child Custody Decisions

In certain circumstances, non-parents will file for child custody. These can be relatives, close family friends, and guardians. This is usually referred to as third-party custody or guardianship.

This process starts with the person filing a non-parental custody petition and filing information about themselves, the relationship with the child, and the whereabouts of the parents. If you are at this point, work with a child custody lawyer to ensure you give the right information.

Child custody decisions are made every day. It is essential to work with a child custody lawyer to ensure your kids’ best interests are met.