What You Should Know About Child Custody Arrangements

Posted on: 1 July 2019

As a parent gets a divorce, one of the most important issues is that of child custody. There are a variety of different types of custody and other factors you should know about before the custody arrangement is final. Here are some things you should know about child custody.

What Are the Types of Custody?

Legal custody is one type, and it refers to the person who is in charge of making very specific decisions on behalf of the child. Physical custody states where the child will reside. They are interchangeable, in that the parent with full legal custody may or may not have full physical custody.

In addition, a custody arrangement can include the issues of sole custody, joint custody, shared parenting, or other arrangements you make on your own. Your attorney will explain all the different custody situations to you.

How Is Custody Decided?

When the court determines a custody arrangement, many factors are considered. The court will first evaluate which parent has the best ability to support the children, if not both. The court also considers the relationship between the child and parent. In addition, any special needs of the child are also a consideration. If one parent has a home specially outfitted for a child's special needs, that parent may have the child more often until the other parent can make the same accommodations in his or her home.

The age of the child is also a factor. When a child is just an infant who exclusively breastfeeds, for instance, the child will likely spend more time with the mother until weaning takes place.

Do You Need to Have an Attorney?

You are not required to have an attorney to make custody arrangements. However, it is strongly recommended that you do. You want to ensure your arrangement is fair for all parties involved and you want to be aware of your rights and responsibilities.

Can You Make Your Own Arrangements?

If your relationship is to a point where you can both reasonably decide on your custody arrangements yourselves, you may do so. This is the best-case scenario. Your attorney will need to look over the arrangements and file the documentation with the court to make the arrangement official and legally enforceable. If you skip taking your plans to the court, you will have no recourse at all if the arrangements fail. You would then have to start the custody process over again within the court system.

For more information, contact a law firm like Cragun Law Firm.