Child custody is one of the issues you will be facing if you are seeking divorce and you have a child or children younger than 18. The proceedings involving this issue can be quite complex and complicated. While you will be working with a family law attorney on this matter, it still pays to have a basic understanding of the relevant topics.
Here are some important things you need to know about child custody.
Custody is the legal term used to describe an individual’s right to decide about the care and upbringing of his/her child (legal custody) or where the children will live following divorce (physical custody).
The right for physical custody may be shared by both parents. This is called joint physical custody. In some cases, the custody is granted to only one parent in a sole physical custody arrangement.
Parenting time is also known as visitation, parental time, or access. It is a legal term that pertains to the child’s opportunity to spend time with the non-custodial parent. According to seasoned family law attorney in Los Angeles, issues often arise when it comes to visitation arrangements of divorced couples. However, such arrangements shall be determined by the court based on “the best interests of the child.”
State law mandates
Most laws governing child custody are state laws. When divorce is filed, for instance, the court with jurisdiction over the divorce proceedings shall determine child custody and parenting time arrangements.
The state laws require parents who are filing for divorce or annulment and whose children are younger than 18 to file for custody. The law also mandates both spouses to provide support for children under the age of 21, based on the provisions of the Child Support Standards Act.
The technicalities involved in divorce and child custody cases can be complicated and difficult to understand. This is the reason you need the service of a legal professional. Family law attorneys can help you go through the process and realize your rights as a parent. Talk to an experienced lawyer today to learn more about child custody.