Typically, problems surrounding child custody arise when a couple splits up or lives apart from each other. Statistically, fathers battle for permanent custody or visitation rights, while mothers battle to get fathers to pay child support. Custody for a married couple is usually straightforward. Custody is usually determined in a divorce case and as long as the parents fighting for custody are married and their names are on the birth certificate, custody proceedings are simple and determined by the court.
What Does The Court Consider When Determining Child Custody?
The Court makes their decision on what they think is in the child’s best interest.
- The physical and mental health of each parent.
- The wishes of the child if they are old enough to have a say.
- Evidence of any type of drug or alcohol use.
- Adjustment to the community – school/daycare/caretakers
- Any special needs of the child.
What Is The Difference Between Sole and Shared Custody?
Sole custody involves legal and physical custody. Physical custody means that the child is living with you, and legal custody menas you are in charge of making all the important decisions regarding your child without any type of consent or input from the other parent.
Shared or Joint custody is when the court awards both parents with custody of the child with an order. This means that the child will have a substantial amount of time living with both parents. Both parents will have equal responsibility with regards to the physical health of the child. It is important to note that even if you awarded shared custody of the child, physical custody of the child may not be equally split with the other parent.