Preparing for Child Custody and Visitation Negotiations
Family Law Attorney
Parents who have recently become single may know that they will have to work out an agreement with their former partner about child custody and visitation. But, not every parent knows how to prepare for such negotiations. Parents may try attending mediation over child custody first, and if it is unsuccessful they will have to appear in court over the matter instead. Most parents fight for sole custody, but may not understand what exactly that entails. Perhaps the best way for parents to be fully informed and ready for child custody discussions, is to talk with an attorney for help.
Verdicts Aren’t Always All-Or-Nothing
An attorney may begin preparing a parent for a child custody battle by informing them about the different types of custody. The outcome for child custody cases is not always as black and white as people think. For example, the judge may not award only one parent to have sole custody of the child. If the judge believes it is in the best interest of the child, he or she may grant joint legal or physical custody to both parents.
Legal vs Physical Custody Rulings
Whichever parent(s) are awarded legal custody, are given authority to be the decision-maker when it comes to their child’s life, including education, religion, medical care, and more. The judge may award legal custody to one parent, or have them both share a joint role. By comparison, the parent(s) who receive physical custody, are whom the child shall live with permanently. In cases where the parents are awarded joint physical custody, this means the children will have to split time between living at separate homes.
If one parent does not receive at least partial physical custody, visitation may be permitted on a regular basis instead. A judge may award the non-custodial parent unsupervised, supervised, or virtual visitation rights. In unsupervised visitation, the parent is usually permitted to take the child to their own home or travel somewhere together just for the day. In supervised visitation, another appointed person must be present during the visit, such as a grandparent, friend of the family, or social worker. Virtual visitation may be best suited for situations where one parent lives far from the child, and are unable to have in-person visits as often as desired.
There may be times where specified visitation parameters must be set temporarily, depending on the child’s needs. For instance, if the child is of a very young age, the other parent may be required to visit the child only at the mother’s home until the baby takes to a bottle for feeding.
A family law attorney is dedicated to assisting families in and understand just how important obtaining some level of child custody must be for you as a parent, and will do what they can to see that you are showcasing your best self during the court hearing. Please call to book your appointment with an attorney.