What is Child Custody?
Dealing with child custody is often a very emotional and difficult time. A Child Custody Attorney can help you through this process and ease the stress created by the situation. Parents usually don’t understand that there are two kinds of custody: Physical Custody and Legal Custody.
Physical custody refers to the parent that will physically have the child. That is why custody agreements and judgments often refer to the parent that has the child the most as the primary physical custodian. This also creates a misconception too because some people assume that is the parent that has the child and the other parent just “visits”. However, when the other parent that has visitation he or she has physical custody when they have the child which then is transferred back to the other parent at the end of the visit. Therefore, whoever is legally in possession of the child has physical legal custody during that time.
Legal custody refers to the right to make decisions for the child and responsibility therefore. You need legal custody to make life decisions for the child(ren) such as education, medical care, and recreation.
Parents can agree to physical and legal custody or the court can make decisions for them. It is usually best if the parents can agree on custody matters for the sake of the children. Parents that agree usually have fewer arguments which in turn put less stress on the children. It also gives the parents the flexibility to agree to custody orders that the court would not grant if it has to make the decision. When the court decides custody matters they will rule and make orders on what they think is in the best interest of the child. In determine what is in the best interest of the child the court considers the welfare of the child and the need for frequent and continuing contact with both parents.
However, a custody battle may be necessary if your children are at risk (developmentally, emotionally, or physically) because of conduct by the other parent. In certain circumstances a parent can risk having their child(ren) taken away by Child Protective Services if they do not take steps to protect their child(ren) from the other parent but situations like that are not common.
At the Law Office of Margaret D. Wilson we understand that dealing with custody issues is a difficult and emotional time for our clients. We listen to our clients to determine what the real issues are and to advise them on how we can help them meet their objectives. If you have a spouse or former partner that wants to take your children away from you, it is important that you have a Child Custody Attorney who is savvy and will champion your cause and fight for your rights.
If you have questions regarding child custody.