There are a number of key questions that need to be raised when it comes to child custody rights. There are multiple considerations that need to be made when a court determines a custody ruling. Here are some things you should educate yourself on if you are facing a child custody dispute.
Divorce and Child Custody Decisions
Decisions regarding child custody are usually arrived at through the help of attorneys and mediators or by the court. More specifically, either two parents are able to come to an agreement either through informal settlement negotiations or mediation, or a court (usually a family court judge) needs to decide for them.
Often times custody and visitation rulings can be a more simplified process when a child’s parents are unmarried. This is because the focus can be given to he child custody dispute, rather than being spread across other issues such as division of property and payment of spousal support. In cases with unmarried parents, the family court’s primary consideration is usually identifying the child’s “primary caretaker.”
Non-Parental Child Custody Decisions
Sometimes relatives like grandparents, aunts, uncles, and close family friends wish to obtain custody. Often states label these cases “non-parental” or “third-party” custody, or obtaining “guardianship.” Each state has specific statutes regarding these cases. Working with a licensed attorney in your area will help ensure you follow the rules of your state’s court.
Source: FindLaw, How Child Custody Decisions Are Made, 2014
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