When a child’s parents divorce, separate, or annul their marriage, a court will decide what is in the best interest of the child. Children are not property and therefore should not be treated as such. A child custody lawyer can help assist you and your children in court. A court will hear both sides of the situation and determine the best course for the child or children. In the eyes of the law, both parents have an equal opportunity to provide the child an equal amount of parenting time. This means that contrary to popular belief, the mother does not always end up with majority of custody. It is the fact that the mother is often at home with the children the most and therefore provided the most primary care. However, in today’s society more and more women are joining the workforce and therefore it is up to the courts to determine how the child can receive the best care.
During the divorce process the parents will need to have a parenting plan which can also be worked out with a family law attorney. This will either be worked out between the parents, or court ordered. The divorce process can be hard for a child. You owe it to your children to sit down together and come up with a parenting plan that can benefit your child the most. The best plan is one that will not interrupt the child’s daily life. One that will provide the child time to engage with friends and family much of the way they would if the parents were still together. However, this is not always possible and sometimes not feasible. The plan should include that both parents have the right to access the child’s records. This records should include medical, scholastic, and activities. Just in case something were to happen while the child is in the care of another parent and need vital information. The parental plan will also include a schedule of where and with whom the child will live. Again this may be discussed with the parents and if need be the court will decide what situation is the best. A family law attorney will be able to help you derive a plan that works for everyone as well.
If a change in custody or relocation is something that you want, you might want to file a modification of custody. It is not mandatory for the parents of the child to have a court approved modification. If the parents of the child can come to terms and agree on a custom schedule then it can save you money by not filing it in court. However, it is in your best interest to have a family lawyer look over your agreement and perhaps have both parties sign it. This will keep from having to explain to the judge why you broke the court order and the other party denying the agreement. If the other party does not agree to the new terms you will need to take it to the courts for approval. Usually a court will only grant a modification to the agreement if the situation has changed and it is no longer in the best interest of the child.
Although some cases are decided and worked out between the parents, when a child grows older they will have a say of who they live with. The child will get to voice their concern but as with the agreements with the parents, a court will still decide overall what is best. If you have a child involved in a custody battle then it would be good for you to seek a lawyer for help.