GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOTV) - Divorce can be a very difficult time for women, and the children involved. One of the biggest issues to consider is child custody. Who will make the decisions for the kids and where they will live are just a couple of the questions to answer.
Two types of child custody:
Physical custody means that a parent has the right to have a child live with him or her. Some states will award joint physical custody to both parents when the child spends significant amounts of time with both parents. Joint physical custody works best if parents live relatively near to each other, as it lessens the stress on children and allows them to maintain a somewhat normal routine.
Where the child lives primarily with one parent and has visitation with the other, generally the parent with whom the child primarily lives will have sole physical custody, with visitation to the other parent.
Legal custody of a child means having the right and the obligation to make decisions about a child's upbringing. A parent with legal custody can make decisions about schooling, religion, and medical care, for example. In many states, courts regularly award joint legal custody, which means that the decision making is shared by both parents.
Women sometimes make the error of allowing joint physical custody in an attempt to 'be fair' when in actual fact they provide the majority of child care and nurturing. Be aware this will lower your child support!
How can you do the best to insure your chances of getting custody?
- Hire an attorney with a lot of experience in custody issues
- Be the primary caretaker
- Stay involved in school and activities
- Deal with your issues: Drug, alcohol or emotional problems
- Be aware of social media. Do not engage in posts that rant about your spouse
- Keep you anger in check. Do not lose control to the judge,friend of the court, opposing counsel, or your child's teachers
DAWN Attorneys for Women
Nothing herein constitutes a legal opinion
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Gail keeps you in the know on what is going on in the latest family law issue of whether a father can gain custody over a fetus and therefore limit the liberty of the mom before the baby is born.
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