When it comes to sorting out child custody in the case of divorce or separation, there are many questions that you may have. You could be confused and even scared about how the child custody will be awarded. Here are four common questions about child custody laws answered:
- Is Custody Always Awarded to Just One Parent: Many parents fear that the other parent will be the only one who is awarded custody. However, this is not often the case. In most cases, a judge will award joint custody both physically and legally. This means that you and the other parent will have an equal amount of time with the children and be able to make decisions about the children together medically, religiously, educationally, and more. If there are any disputes about how these decisions are handled, you may have to take it to court in this case.
- Can Someone Else Be Awarded Custody: If you or the other parent have substance abuse problems, are unemployed, or are not mentally stable, the judge may award temporary custody to someone other than you and the other parent. While the children are under temporary custody, you have the ability to find a job, quit your substance abuse and more. Once you have become more stable, you can hire a child custody lawyer in order to prove you are suitable to have your child under your care once again.
- What are the Factors that Determining Custody: In most cases, the biggest factor that determines which parent receives custody is stability. If both parents are able to provide the children with a stable life that won't change much after a divorce, then joint custody is awarded. Otherwise, the parent that is able to provide stability, such as allowing the child to attend the same school, stay in the same community, and more, then they will receive custody.
- Is the Mother Favored: Many fathers worry that the mother is always favored by the judge in the situation of awarding child custody. However, this is not legally allowed any longer. The judge always bases the decision on stability and will not favor the mother over the father.
When you better understand how child custody works, you can better understand your rights as a parent and know what you have to do in order to receive custody or joint custody. The results are always better if you have a child custody lawyer by your side who is able to ensure that you are seen fit for custody in the judge's eyes.