Child custody is one of the biggest issues you and your future ex-spouse would be facing if you have a child or children younger than 18 and you plan to get a divorce. Things could be a lot more difficult if both parties demand to be the custodial parent.
Unfortunately, the technicalities surrounding this area of family law could be quite complex for an average person without a legal background. This is why you need an experienced legal adviser. In this case, you need a child custody lawyer.
Here are some of the key points a competent child custody attorney should help you understand.
Legal and Physical Custody
Custody is defined legally as a person’s right to make decisions regarding their child’s care and upbringing. This is known as legal custody. Physical custody, on the other hand, refers to where the child will reside after divorce.
Base on statutory provisions, divorcing parties have equal rights to claim their child/children’s physical custody. The family court could order either a joint or sole physical custody arrangement, depending on the family’s relevant circumstances.
Visitation, also known as parental time or access, is another key point you need to know regarding custody issues. In Albuquerque, for instance, the Law Office of Doreene A. Kuffer explains that it refers to a child’s opportunity to spend time with their non-custodial parent.
Legal courts look into a number of factors to determine the best visitation arrangements for the child and both parents. “The best interests of the child” is the standard used by the courts to make such decisions.
Many states now use the term “parenting schedule” in place of the terms custody and visitation. This way, there wouldn’t be any negative connotation on the court’s decision on who should be the custodial and non-custodial parent of the child.
These are only some of the key points your child custody lawyer would help you learn as you go along the process. Look for an experienced attorney so you can ensure not only quality legal service but also greater chance of winning your child’s custody.