Child Custody Battles
There are many issues that two spouses will have to deal with during the divorce process. Perhaps the most complex and contentious dispute is over child custody. One spouse may be fighting for sole custody, while the other wants to share joint custody. It can be a very turbulent time for both spouses and their children. A parent who isn’t prepared with information on how to win a child custody battle may find themselves with a heart-breaking loss in the end, in the form of less quality time with their child.
Parents who want to protect their rights and get as ready as possible for such an emotional dispute must obtain legal representation immediately.
The Fight for Sole Custody
Many spouses file for sole custody in a divorce, but oftentimes courts are hesitant to establish this type of custody unless it is for the protection of the child. Limiting involvement of the other parent with the growing child has shown to be very detrimental to their wellbeing. In situations where sole custody is granted to one parent, the court may then award the other generous rights for visitation.
What Joint Custody Looks Like
If joint custody is awarded during divorce, then each parent has a right to see their shared children. The judge may appoint joint legal custody, joint physical custody, or both. Joint physical custody means that the children are to share equal time living in each parent’s home. Joint legal custody means that both parents are to share making decisions that pertain to the child’s growth, such as education, religion, and healthcare. The court may grant a joint custody arrangement after parents have started living in separate homes, even if the divorce is not completed yet.
The Factors of Joint Custody
Ultimately, the judge is going to consider what is in the best interest of the child before giving joint or legal custody to either parent. The factors that may influence the judge’s decision include the schedules of both parents, their level of income, distance between both homes, and opportunity for the child to participate in hobbies along with maintaining friendships.
The focus of an attorney and his or her client amidst a divorce and child custody dispute is doing what they can to present the parent in the best possible light. Both parents must position themselves as a suitable and responsible caregiver for their children.
Mediation Over Child Custody
Along with other topics, child custody can be settled outside of court if both parents are willing to attend mediation and negotiate for a resolution. With help from their attorneys, they can prepare a parenting agreement to present to the court for final approval. Once the parenting agreement is approved, it becomes a legally binding contract in which the parents must abide by the terms and fulfill their respective obligations. A divorce lawyer, like a divorce lawyer in Rockville, MD, can support a parent as he or she seeks the most ideal child custody scenario possible.
Thanks to the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insight into preparing yourself for a child custody battle during the divorce process.