What Types of Custody Are There?
There are 2 basic types of custody: sole and joint custody. Different states (and even different judges within the same state) have slightly different ways of deciding how many responsibilities you share with your ex where your children are concerned.
• If you have sole custody of your children, they will live with you and you will be responsible for making important decisions like where they attend school or what doctor they visit. Your ex will be responsible for paying child support and will probably have visitation rights.
• With joint custody, both parents are involved in the decision-making process. Joint legal custody is common, where both parents agree on important decisions regarding their children. Joint physical custody is not as common, and it is not usually divided evenly between both parents, but many judges prefer it so that both parents are able to play an active role in their children’s lives.
How Is Custody Determined?
When determining child custody, a judge’s first priority is to make sure the best interests of the child are taken into consideration. For example, a parent is more likely to be awarded custody if he or she is regularly home to spend time with the children, as well as financially stable enough to support them. Your attorney can help you prove to the judge that you are a fit guardian for your children.
What Can I Do to Get Custody Rights?
It’s possible to increase your chances of getting custody rights before a decision is reached. For example, making sure your house looks neat and tidy--both inside and outside--helps prove that you’re a responsible parent. Always show up on time to work, court, and any other appointments. If your children are currently in your custody, make sure they are always on time to school. Ask your lawyer what else you can do to help your case.
How Does Child Support Work?
In most cases, one parent will have primary custody of their children, while the other will pay child support to help cover expenses. Child support is determined based on the needs of the children as well as the financial situation of both parents. It can be extremely complicated and may change as either parent’s finances change. A child support arrangement may also be subject to change if a sudden development--such as a medical emergency--arises.
Can Custody Rights Be Changed?
If you lost a custody battle or are unhappy with the results, it is sometimes possible to change custodial rights. This is especially true if there is a major change in one of the parent’s lives that could affect the children--such as the loss of a job. Talk to your custody lawyers in Daphne, AL, about how to bring the custody arrangement to a judge for review to see if you can get a new agreement.