Child custody lawyers are specialist family lawyers who can help with the delicate issue of child custody. Child custody law determines who should be responsible for caring for a child and with whom the child should live.
Good family lawyers can help you with these issues and ensure that this is emotionally difficult.
The issue of child custody usually arises after a divorce, but child custody lawyers are not only consulted during a divorce or after the separation of a child’s parents. It is not uncommon for single parents and even other family members of parents to turn to them for advice regarding contacts or third parties at the time of a parent’s death or incapacity. Family lawyers will always put the best interests of the child first.
Some divorce cases can be successfully resolved without consulting child custody lawyers. Some parents will cooperate when it comes to cohabiting with their children and resort to mediation to resolve the dispute, if at all. However, some custody disputes become complex and often consist of various charges brought by the opposing party to obtain full custody of the child. It is in these rare but difficult custody battles that a family law attorney can help.
In some rare cases, a parent may be permanently denied access to their child, either by the other parent, by social services, or by a court order. In this case, the court can change the decision at any time if circumstances change. It means that when, for example, the mother is a drug addict, she must be clean and stay clean, then she can request access again.
The three main types of guardianship that can be negotiated or usually awarded by the courts are:
- Sole custody is when one of the parents has physical custody of the child.
- Joint custody is when both parents have legal custody of a child or physical custody of a child.
- Separate custody, where one parent has full custody of some of the children and the other of the other children.
Physical custody refers to the general day-to-day care of a child and generally covers the child’s place of residence, i.e., where the child will live.
If the child lives with both parents, each parent has “joint physical custody,”; and each parent is said to have custody of that child, making custody “joint.” When the parties award or agree to joint physical custody, as is often the case with this type of custody, the child often has two homes and divides their time between the two parents.
Joint custody can work well because it means that both parents share responsibility for day-to-day decisions, with significant decisions being made by the child caregiver on that particular day, rather than having to consult with the parent alone.