Divorce Custody

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A legal procedure, by which a marriage is completely terminated, is known as 'divorce'. It is a legal process that involves many aspects about the marital property and division of family. The couples, who are having minor children at the time of separation, go through the divorce custody issue. It deals with the actual guardianship of the children after the termination of marriage. There are many spouses who opt for a litigation to solve this matter.

Divorce Custody Laws

In the United States, the laws pertaining to this matter are presided over by the individual states rather than the Federal government. Accordingly, all the fifty states and the District of Columbia have drafted their own set of laws. Though the details of guardianship requirements and preferences of the court differ, the basis of all state laws is the same. All fifty states have adopted 'Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act'. This act talks about the legal provisions and requisites for awarding a parenting responsibility to a parent. The utmost priority is given to the 'best interests of the child' according to this law.

The Factors determining Child Custody

It is seen that most parents get engaged in long-term disputes over who gets the legal rights over children. Sometimes, parents do come to a conclusion and form an agreement which states the particulars of child's requirements, monitory obligations and spending time with a child. But, if parents fail to reach to a mutual accession, the court determines the guardianship by taking following factors into consideration:

  • The age, health and mental condition of the kids involved in the procedure.
  • The relationship shared by each spouse and the child. The quality of such relation and level of understanding and support provided by the partners.
  • The physical and mental capability of each parent related to child upbringing.
  • The readiness of each parent to accept and nurture good relations of the kid with the other partner.
  • Economic resources and future plans of both spouses. The capacity of each one to provide for the educational, medical and other requirements of a child.
  • Any history of abusive or violent behavior of any parent. The possibilities of potential danger for the little one in such environment.
  • If a child is mature enough to make a preference, then his/her choice related to parenting.
Apart from these factors, the court may order to conduct an investigation by a legal or psychological expert. It is called as 'custody evaluation'. This person is permitted to collect the testimonies of parents, child and other relatives. The judge may look up to such valuation as guidance for awarding a guardianship.

Types of Divorce Custody

The main options in case of child guardianship are sole responsibility and joint plan. Following are some of the important types -

  1. Shared parenting plan: If parents are in contact with each other, they may go for this option. This is a joint responsibility of parents. They may have a kid alternatively with them and decide about the upbringing together.
  2. Single guardianship: If a parent is found ineligible for handling the whole responsibility is awarded to only one parent. That spouse is completely responsible for nurturing the child.
  3. Legal rights: A person may be awarded only the legal guardianship of the kid. It implies that such person is responsible to take decisions about development issues.
  4. Physical guardianship: This implies that one of the partners has legal rights over the child, and the other has physical duties. It includes taking care of routinely needs and supervising the development.

Visitation and Divorce Custody

Visitation rights are given to a parent who is not allowed to have physical or legal guardianship. A non-custodial spouse has the permission to visit the child according to the schedule approved by the court. Such schedule can be made out of discussion of parents. Otherwise, the court may determine the timings. A spouse is permitted to spend time with children on holidays, weekends and vacation slots. There are many different types of visitation. Following are few of them:

  • Supervised meetings - The parent will be supervised during meetings by a third party who may be related to a family or a part of legal system. Such types of visits are preferred when that spouse is known to have a violent or criminal background.
  • Restricted visits - The custodian may request the court to restrict the timings and frequency of visits of another partner if it is affecting the routine of children in a bad manner.
  • Normal visitation - If both parents are fit for handling the kids and their upbringing, such type of visitation is possible. The court may permit for night-outs or more time with the children in this case.
  • Visitation in alternative turns - If parents are sharing the guardianship, such type of schedule is enforced. In this schedule, a spouse will have turns for meetings, while the other spouse is performing the duties of a custodian.

Here are some topics associated with divorce custody:

Information about state specific divorce custody:

Idaho Custody
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia

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