As child custody lawyers near Severn and their clients know, divorce involves major changes for former spouses and their children. If you and your spouse have made the difficult decision to separate, it is essential to find an experienced family law attorney who can explain your legal rights and fight for the best interests of your children. There are many different kinds of child custody arrangements. Continue reading to find out answers to common child custody questions.
What Factors Does the Court Use to Determine Custody?
Custody of children is determined according to the “child’s best interest” standard. That means the court will consider a variety of factors when determining child custody. For example, a judge will analyze a child’s level of mental, emotional, and social development. The judge will also consider how involved each parent has been in the child’s upbringing, any history of domestic or child abuse, and each parent’s geographic location. The court will also weigh the child’s preference for living arrangements.
What Is Shared Custody?
In family law, shared custody refers to any arrangement where both parents have some responsibility for raising the child. Shared custody can be divided as joint custody, which means both parents share legal and physical child custody. Both parents will make decisions for the children and spend equal time with them. Shared custody may also entail split custody. With split custody, each parent assumes responsibility for some of the children.
What Is Sole Custody?
In sole custody, one parent assumes all or almost all of a child’s care after a divorce. A parent who is granted sole custody generally makes all decisions relating to the child, and the child lives with that parent. However, a non-custodial parent may still be responsible for paying child support. Any child support enforcement issues will be handled by the court and usually with the assistance of family court lawyers.