Child custody arrangements are the agreement or judgment by which parents decide who will have legal custody of their children. In such arrangements, the parents and their parental rights can also be called upon to help resolve issues with adoption, step-parent relationships, and questions of legitimation. Often they are decided as part of a divorce where one parent cannot care for the children in the same way as the other parent wishes. Parental custody arrangements can be made based on the existing marriage relationship and a pre-existing commitment to another person. In some cases, if any of the parents have been convicted of a criminal offense that affects the ability of that parent to properly care for their children, this can also be considered as a basis for a custody arrangement.
Some lawyers and judges refer to the two decision-making parents as custodial parents and noncustodial parents. In the past, this label was based on who would have primary physical care of the children. However, these terms are extremely subjective as it can also be construed that, in some cases, a non-custodial parent may actually have more time with their children than a custodial parent.
What Are Child Custody Arrangements?
Child custody arrangements are created to address any number of issues that may arise regarding a child, including the decision about who spends more time with the child. This decision can be made by either parent or even a professional such as a lawyer or a judge. All states go through legislation that dictates how they want to handle this issue.
If, for example, the parents want to resolve an issue in their relationship, they can go to a judge who will review the case and give them a decision. In California, for example, the decision is that there should be joint custody or sole custody, with both parents having equal authority. In other states, such as Texas or New York, both parties have equal power, with one parent having the final say in this decision.
How Are Child Custody Arrangements Decided?
A child custody arrangement is usually made by the parents. If they are married, then the divorce process will involve a custody agreement. However, if the parents cannot come to an agreement that is acceptable to everyone, either of them can go to court to seek a decision on this matter. The court will take into account several factors when deciding who gets custody of a minor child or children, as well as any previous history both as a parent and as an individual.
These factors can include the physical and mental health of the parent, the financial situation of the parents, intellectual or educational background, and support system of each parent. If the judge decides that one party is more likely to take good care of the child than the other, then that person will most likely receive custody. It is also possible that both parents will have joint custody. This would mean that the child spends a portion of his or her time with each parent. It is important to note that a court may make this order even if one parent disagrees. This would make for an extremely difficult situation for both parents, especially if there is any animosity between them. Therefore, it is always recommended that once either party seeks legal help, they consult with a family law attorney who understands the laws around child custody cases that can assist them in reaching an agreement instead of going to court.
What If I Need To Change My Child Custody Arrangements?
There are many reasons why a person may want to change his or her child custody arrangement. This can occur for many reasons, such as a change in marital status, the relationship between the parents and their children, or unexpected changes in the child’s life that make it necessary. A person should always consult with an attorney before they go to court to address any of these issues. A judge will not typically give second chances in custody arrangements unless there are extenuating circumstances that make it necessary.
If the arrangement has already been decided, these issues should be addressed by seeking legal help. In the event that there is an emergency situation that makes it necessary to change custody arrangements, it is generally easier to do this before a divorce proceeding rather than after. However, if a divorce is not desired, then both parties should discuss with their attorney how to handle this matter.
Custody arrangements are designed to ensure that the best interest of the child is met within the constraints of societal expectations. Parents who cannot agree on a child custody arrangement can petition for a judge to make this decision for them. This decision can have a profound effect on both parents and their children, so it is important to find an attorney who can help you decide what is best suited for your family.