Sharing Parental Time and Responsibilities: A Short Primer on Child Custody Laws

Child custodyWhether it is a divorce or legal separation, going through the dissolution of a marriage is sure to be an emotionally trying experience. This is particularly true for couples with children. As it often happens, couples find it difficult to come to an agreement regarding child care and co-parenting. For situations when an amicable understanding seems too far off to reach, decisions regarding shared parental responsibilities are usually brought before family court. According to experts from Matthewsfamilylawyers.com, there are many stages throughout the divorce process and these stages an be exhausting. This is why finding the best professional to help you is a great thing.

Child custody cases: an overview

A judge based on a number of different factors will determine a child custody case. While child custody laws may differ from state to state, these determining factors are expected to uphold the best interest of the child involved. At trial’s end, the court is supposed to decide on a child custody arrangement that will allow both parents to continue to cultivate a healthy relationship with their offspring.

Factors in determining child custody

According to the Legal Information Institute, a child custody verdict comes after careful consideration of the wishes of the child and his or her relationship with both parents. A judge will also take into account what each parent may want, as well as their age, physical and mental health, employment opportunities, lifestyle choices, and current living arrangement.

Types of child custody arrangements

With these considerations in mind, a judge will typically decide on some combination of physical and legal custody. Writing in a research journal by Princeton University and Brookings Institute, Joan B. Kelly points out the difference: physical custody refers to a child’s day-to-day living arrangement, while legal custody refers to a parent’s right to make decisions regarding a child’s health and welfare.

Because child custody cases are often mired with emotional difficulties, the court always uphold the child’s best interest and well-being through the whole process. To get specific details regarding your own child custody case, seek out appropriate legal counsel in your area. Colorado residents can try contacting a qualified family lawyer in Denver for more information.