Image of a mom holding her daughter representing child custody after divorce.

Child Custody: How it Works

When a divorce occurs between a couple with children, the issue of child custody becomes apparent. Assuming that both parents want to stay in their child’s life, there will need to be proceedings in order to determine how the child will be shared between the parents. 

In a completely fair and equitable divorce in which there are no major issues with either parent, both parents will have equal rights to see the child. However, there are factors affecting child custody other than the fitness of each parent. Since custody decisions must be made “in the child’s best interest,” the court will also consider the following:

  • The child’s mental and physical health
  • The preferences of the parents
  • The preferences of the child
  • The child’s relationship with each parent
  • The child’s relationship with their sibling(s)
  • The child’s relationship with each parent’s family or others who may substantially impact the child’s best interests
  • The child’s comfort in their home
  • How custody would affect their interactions with their school and community

While both parents may have an equal right to custody initially, one parent will be determined to be the one to take custody of the child. 

If the custody is granted exclusively to one parent, then the other parent is forbidden from having any interaction with the children. Additionally, the parent with exclusive custody will have unilateral authority over the child’s education, healthcare, and religious upbringing. If exclusive custody is granted, the other parent can try to acquire supervised visitation rights which will allow them to see the child on a limited basis.

The court could also choose to award joint custody to the divorcing couple. Under this system, both parents have an equal say in how the child is to be raised and take care of them in equal measure. Even if joint custody is awarded, the lower-earning parent may still qualify for child support.   

In order to ensure that you can be with your child following a divorce, you will need an experienced Divorce & Family attorney to advocate for your rights. An excellent Divorce & Family attorney can help ensure that your divorce is equitable and fair. The best way to find an experienced Divorce & Family attorney is with Attorney at Law.

At AAL, our nationwide network of attorneys can match you with an experienced Divorce and Family attorney in your area. Our partners are picked for their experience, resources, and exceptional client care. Our partners understand how difficult divorce proceedings can be and strive to be empathetic and understanding. 

Don’t wait. Contact AAL today for a free, no obligation consultation and protect your familial rights.

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