When a couple decides to divorce, there are often many battles and disagreements over how the property and assets they own will be divided. But the area that typically causes the most contention between a soon to be ex-husband and ex-wife is the custody of the children. In the event you need legal advice, do not hesitate to contact a child custody attorneyto help you during your situation.
The emotional turmoil that children endure while their parents wage for custody can affect their school work, as well as their social interactions with peers. And these battles can leave deep scars. Legal advisors suggest that parents ask themselves the following questions before entering the custody battling arena:
- Custody fights can take months, if not years, before the come to a conclusion. Are you prepared for your children to suffer through months of stress and anxiety, not knowing where they will live, whether or not they will be split from their siblings and how they will maintain a relationship with the parent they will not be living with?
- Are you prepared to watch as your child is forced to sit through interviews with attorneys, counselors, guardian ad litems, judges and other court personnel, where they may feel scared and intimidated? They also may feel as if they are being forced to choose their loyalty over one parent
- It has been proven in many studies that children who witness high conflict between their parents can suffer from serious psychological issues. Are you willing to take that risk with your child’s mental health?
- Do you want a stranger making the ultimate decisions regarding who will be allowed to make the decisions for your children and how often you will be allowed to see them?
- Would it not be healthier for everyone to try to negotiate a custody agreement with your ex-spouse?
These guidelines are not for every child custody case. Although courts today are favoring more shared custody arrangements, as are many parents, there are still numerous situations where shared custody, or having the other parent awarded custody, would not be in the best interest of the child. Whatever your situation may be, if you are considering a divorce, contact a qualified child custody attorney today to discuss your situation and options. Custody options may include:
- Legal custody: Legal custody gives parents the right to make decisions about the child’s education, religions, medical treatments, and other legal decisions that impact the child.
- Physical custody: The parent who the child will live with has physical custody.
- Sole custody: When one parent has both physical and legal custody. The other parent does not have any custodial rights, although they may still have visitation.
- Joint legal custody: When both parents have equal say in the decisions in their child’s life. If they disagree on any of these decision, the court may have to settle the disagreement.
- Joint physical custody: When the child splits his or her time between both parents’ homes equally.