Divorce and Children Custody

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Highlights of Divorce and Children Custody

  • A divorce ruptures the bond between a wife and a husband while child custody ruptures the bond of parenting
  • As the bond of parenting is generally stronger than the marital bond, a custody dispute is possibly more difficult than a divorce conflict
  • When the situation is such that the divorcing couple has more than one child, the experts are of the opinion that the best custody plan is that in which all the children are together
  • In a majority of states in the country, the court takes into account the desires of the child regarding the custody arrangement with regard to the age of the child
  • When any court finalizes the decision regarding custody, it undertakes complete responsibility about permanently securing the child against development of chronic or acute feeling of guilt

Factors impacting Divorce and Children Custody

Cent percent courts aim at "the best interests of the child" while making a custody arrangement. The court generally takes the following factors into consideration.

  • The preference of the child, if the child has crossed a specific age (this age is generally 12)
  • If the status quo is altered, what will be the impact on the child?
  • In the current scenario, what is the quality of the education of the child
  • The established living model of the child with respect to religious institution, community, home and school
  • The capacity of each parent to offer the child medical care, clothing, shelter and food
  • The ability of each parent to guide the child
  • The emotional bond between the child and each parent
  • The past record of child abuse
  • Whether the child has been exposed to second-hand smoke
  • The lifestyle of each parent and relevant social factors
  • The physical health, mental health, sex and age of the child

Depending on the unique circumstances in each divorce case, some other factors may also play a role.

Variations in Child Custody

Legal Custody

The obligation and right to finalize decisions regarding the upbringing of a child constitutes Legal Custody. For example, such a parent is free to make decisions regarding the medical care, religion, schooling etc of the child.

Physical Custody

If a parent is given the right that his or her child would reside with him or her, it can be said that this parent has the Physical custody of the child.

Sole Custody

Sole Physical Custody implies that the child lives primarily with one parent and the other parent has been offered visitation rights. This type is usually arranged when one of the parents is considered unfit for custody due to child neglect, child abuse, drug dependency, alcohol dependency etc

In most of the states, Sole Legal Custody is not preferred. The parent has to convince the judge that joint legal custody is not in the best interests of the child in order to get sole legal custody.

Joint Custody

Joint Physical Custody indicates that the child spends a considerable section of his or her time along with each parent.

Joint Legal Custody means that both the parents are involved in making decisions regarding the child. In such a case, if parent 1 excludes parent 2 from the decision-making procedure, parent 2 can approach the court and request the judge to enforce the child custody order.

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