If you’re a parent who is going through a divorce, it’s important to know what can happen with your child before any details are finalized. There are different types of custody that can be granted by the court to determine who the child lives with, how often they see each parent, and who oversees personal and legal decisions.
How is Custody Determined?
Often, custody is decided between the parents outside of courts with the guidance of attorneys and mediators. Their decision is then brought to the judge where it is officially agreed upon. If the parents cannot come to terms on custody, then the decision is placed upon the court.
In this case, custody is determined by what’s in the best interest of the child. This is mostly based upon who currently handles the majority of child-related tasks and who has the stronger emotional bond with the child. A number of other factors can also go into this decision including:
- The stability of each parent’s home
- Their ability to care for the needs of the child
- The precision of drugs or alcohol abuse
- The child’s wishes (if they’re old enough)
Based on these and more, the judge will determine the type of custody is given.
This is where one parent will be given physical and legal responsibility of the child. Residential custody means the child will live with that one parent, and that parent will make decisions for the child regarding education, religious upbringing, medical needs, etc.
In the cases of residential custody, the court will decide the visitation rights of the other parent.
Residential custody is growing less common in many courts, often only being awarded if one parent poses as a danger to the child or if the parents live far apart.
In cases of shared custody, both parents will share great roles in the lives of their child. Shared custody can be split into just legal or physical custody, or it can cover both areas.
If parents share both shared legal and physical custody, they will be responsible for the general provisional needs of their child, as well as making decisions together regarding schooling and medical care. In the case of shared legal custody, if one parent makes an important legal decision without the consent of the other, they can be brought to court where they will be reprimanded for their actions.
Different Shared Arrangements
Because everyone’s situations are different, there are a variety of shared custody arrangements that may be assigned. These arrangements can often be tailored to your individual needs. Parents might rotate every week or every few months. Some parents might handle the school year while the other houses the child for the summer.
Holidays are typically split up and rotated from year to year.
Ultimately, the arrangement is decided on what works best for the child within the lives, schedules, and capabilities of the parent. If the parents cannot come to an agreement on the shared arrangement, the court will impose one.
How Can I Protect My Rights as a Parent?
As a parent, you have a right to care for your child. Make sure you’re protected by hiring a lawyer that specializes in family and divorce law. For a family law attorney, Springfield, Ohio residents trust in the legal team at Michael T. Edwards.
Contact us today.