Custody arrangements for children need to be made before a divorce is declared to be final. To make these arrangements, in court a judge will give parents either physical or legal custody of a child. Physical custody gives one parent the role of custodial parent. As a custodial parent, they will spend more time with the child since the child will live with them in their home. The child may still have time to spend with their other parent. However, most of their time will be with the custodial parent. Legal custody is granted as well. This form of custody allows a parent to make important decisions for the child. These decisions can include a child’s education, medical treatment, religious affiliation and more.
When one parent is given physical and legal custody, this gives them sole custody of the child. This can be reserved for cases where one parent is deemed to be unfit. They may be unfit due to a history of drug or alcohol abuse. They may also be deemed unfit if they have exhibited abusive behavior toward a family member. Judges do not grant sole custody cases without a reason. Although they want the child to have a relationship with both parents, they will not put the child in harm’s way. The judge will look out for the best interests of the child. This is to ensure that they are healthy and safe.
Can I be given visitation rights?
If a parent is not given custody of the child, they may still be allowed to see the child. They can gain visitation rights to allow them to spend some time with their child. These visits may be supervised by someone who works for child protective services. This is to make sure that the child is safe during these visits. Without custody, these parents may feel hopeless. However, by getting visitation rights, it can help greatly. They may eventually be able to prove that they are a fit parent. If this occurs, modifications can be made to child custody arrangements to allow them to have more of an influence in their child’s life.
Matters of divorce and family law should be navigated with the guidance of an experienced attorney. If you need strong legal representation regarding matters of divorce, family law, and estate law, contact the Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. to schedule a consultation today.