Important Steps in Handling Child Custody Cases
| By Parchman Law Group
There are many important things to consider in handling child custody cases. Custody determination by a court is one of the most difficult processes for parents and children to undergo, and while courts try and determine the child’s or children’s best interests above everything, the choice is difficult in the best of circumstances.
When it comes to child custody, there are many different types of arrangements, and one of the first steps to consider in a child custody case is what type of arrangement would work best for the children. You and the child’s other parent may want to have “joint custody,” which means that both parents make decisions regarding the child’s upbringing and welfare. In certain cases, “sole custody” may be the arrangement you want, if you feel strongly that the other parent is incapable of responsible parenting. Experienced lawyers for custody battles can help guide you to pursue the best arrangement for you and your children.
Who Makes the Decision?
The question, “who will get custody?” will largely be determined by which process the involved parties decide to pursue. In most cases where the parents reach an out-of-court agreement on child custody and visitation rights, the question of who will get custody is mostly answered by the parents themselves, with the professional and respected advice of lawyers for custody battles, counselors, and/or mediators. Out-of-court custody and visitation agreements can arise as the result of informal settlement negotiations. Sometimes these agreements come out of informal settlement negotiations, or after the parents participate in out-of-court alternative dispute resolution proceedings, like mediation. In some states, parents are actually required to attempt out-of-court resolutions of custody disputes through processes like mediation before they can appeal to the court.
If the parents cannot come to an out-of-court agreement, then the question “who will get custody?” comes down to the court’s decision. The court’s decision is based on a variety of factors. For example, the court will determine which parent embodies the primary caretaker role, what the financial or living situation of the parent is, how good an influence the parent is on the child, etc. If the parent is unemployed or has a history of drug and/or alcohol abuse, he or she will have to prove how they can support the child and be a good influence in their life.
The Importance of an Attorney
Hiring a professional and experienced lawyer for custody battles is the first step in handling child custody cases. If you are facing this type of legal battle, seek out a lawyer with extensive experience in the field, in order to increase your chances of success. Attorneys understand the legal system and its intricacies. They know how to work within the system in that area to achieve the best outcome. It’s important for a parent to trust the attorney’s expertise, opinion, and advice, as child custody cases can be very difficult and often involved a degree of compromise on both sides. Child custody suits are stressful and often emotional, but a great lawyer will help guide you to make the best decisions in your loved ones’ interests.