If you are in the midst of a child custody battle, chances are you have some questions and might feel overwhelmed or even confused. It is crucial to prepare yourself for what you are about to face, so you can ease some concerns you might have and approach this delicate situation with confidence instead of fear.
Here are some answers to the most commonly asked child custody questions:
- What is the difference between physical custody and legal custody? There is more than one type of custody and different custody options available, so it is important to understand what it all means. Legal custody refers to a parent’s ability make certain decisions on a child’s behalf, whereas physical custody simply refers to where a child will live. You do not need to have physical custody to have legal custody of a child.
- How is child custody determined by the courts? A vast amount of elements factor into how child custody is determined, though this decision is ultimately based on what will best serve the well-being of the child. The wishes and ability of each parent to provide for the child as well as the current child custody arrangement are also considered. Although a child’s preference is not a paramount factor in how custody is awarded, the courts will consider his or her relationship with each parent.
- What are the “best interests of the child?” The courts want to ensure that the best interests of the child are served, but what exactly does that mean? Each state has its own standards for what an ideal situation should look like, but it is usually presumed that the involvement of both parents is best, especially in cases where a child is close with both parents.
- Will I need a child custody lawyer? A lot is at stake in a child custody case, so it is usually advisable for individuals to hire a child custody attorney or, at least seek a free consultation before deciding against it. For those worried about costs, you can consider Legal Aid or participate in a free legal clinic offered by a local law school.
- Is it a good idea to seek a temporary child custody order? In many states, temporary child custody orders are required during the interim between a couple’s separation and divorce. Even if your state does not require one, however, it is advisable that you seek one anyway, especially if one parent is serving in the military, suffering from illness, or is being hospitalized.
- What happens if I am able to reach a private child custody agreement with my ex? In some cases, parents are able to work out a mutually agreeable child custody agreement without the involvement of the courts. This saves a lot of time and heartache, but you should still work with an attorney to have the paperwork drawn up, signed, and filed properly with the courts.
- Will the courts modify a child custody order? Depending on the state, there may be a certain set circumstances under which one can seek child custody modifications. Generally, the courts will consider relocation, safety, the death of a parent, and other likewise legitimate causes for modifying a child custody order.
- How should I prepare for a child custody hearing? Work with your child custody attorney to devise a suitable plan for every court appearance. The better prepared you are, the more confident you will feel and appear in court. It is also important to remember the little things, including how you choose to dress for court and your observation of courtroom etiquette.
- Are a child’s special needs considered? If your child has special needs, rest assured that the court will take these into account, especially if where the child resides will impact his or her medical or developmental issues. Nevertheless, the courts still want to see that both parents are willing to cooperate and facilitate a child’s ongoing relationship with both parents.
- Are judges biased against fathers? In the past, there might have been a bit of bias against fathers in court, but nowadays it is generally considered best for a child to have a continued relationship with both parents. If you want primary custody, the best way to go about this is not by bashing the other parent or limiting a child’s time with him or her, but by being cooperative.
Rancho Cucamonga Child Custody Attorneys
Parents going through divorce are often overwhelmed by the complexity of this situation, making an emotional time even more trying. At Chung & Ignacio, LLP, we seek to make this challenging experience less stressful. Our Rancho Cucamonga child custody attorneys will assess your situation and help you set realistic goals.
Contact our office today at (909) 726-7112 to schedule a free consultation.