Child Custody Frequently Asked Questions

Who normally gets physical custody?
In majority of the cases, the mother is granted physical custody. However, in some instances, the mother works nights or is heavily involved in educational pursuit. In cases of this sort, physical custody is often granted to the father.

Does there need to be custody agreements?
It is required by law, for at least one parent to always be legally responsible for the child. Any change in the status of custody rights must also always be made in concern with the judicial system.

Can a non-parent obtain custody of my child?
It is possible. However, the court must be petitioned with the case being presented that the non-parent has a meaningful relationship with the child, and that the welfare of the child is best in the non-parent's hands.

How is child custody jurisdiction established?
Recent laws have been passed concerning child-napping. If one parent disagrees with the court's decision, he or she might attempt to take the child to another state and thus (each state has different guidelines) re-open the issue of custodial rights. There are several elements which determine the proper state in which child custody is determined: length of time the child has resided in the state, any previous court proceedings regardless of respective state concerning child custody, the residency of each parent, and so on.

When is the right time to tell my child about the divorce?
Obviously, there could never be the perfect time or place. The ultimate concern should be to maintain complete honesty and integrity when discussing the situation with the child. Children are often much smarter than their youth might lead one to believe. The child should never be misled about the parent's relationship. If the marriage is over, they have a right to be told.

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