Divorces are rarely easy matters, especially when there are children involved. Sometimes it’s necessary to spend a great deal of time determining the best arrangement for the kids in order to ensure that their health and wellbeing are always the focus. Because of this concern for what’s best for the children, you could find yourself overwhelmed and worried about what might happen in a custody dispute.
What happens in the initial stages of a custody dispute can vary depending on the details, but in most cases, they’re fairly similar from case to case. Both parents must consider what is best for the children regarding physical and legal custody. Physical custody determines who the children live with throughout the year. Many parents share physical custody, with the kids staying with mom for the week and dad on the weekends or vice versa. Other schedules can be arranged based on what is best for the family.
On the other hand, legal custody determines which parent will be in charge of making decisions for the children. Legal custody will outline details such as whether the parents will make important decisions together, or whether the custodial parent will have all legal rights to make choices for the children in terms of education, religion, and medical matters.
Parents who cannot agree on these decisions will need to see a judge who will then determine the best arrangement for the kids. Fifty-fifty custody cases are the best solution in many cases, requiring both parents to resolve issues together, although sometimes visitation agreements are arrived at instead.
The judge will consider several factors before making his or her final decision. The children’s age, their preference, and the proximity of the parents’ residence to the school are all important elements. Once all factors are considered, the custody agreement is put into place immediately in order to make the process as smooth as possible for the children.
If you are unsure of what to expect in the initial stages of a custody dispute, we can help. Call the Law Office of Laurence J. Brock for a free initial consultation at 909-466-7661 or visit us online.