Child Custody FAQs

A child becomes legally independent at age 18.

Much of this depends upon the childs age. The older the child, the more influence he or she will be able to exert on the court. Although the court does have the final say the testimony of a child does place a significant weight on the judicial scales.

The unborn child is to be treated no differently than any living child.

Yes. It is recommended that periodic evaluations of the parenting plan be made. This is important because so many factors can be modified or altered over a short period following the divorce, such as change in employment, residence, or marital status.

In majority of the cases, the mother is granted physical custody. However, in some instances, the mother works nights or is heavily involved in educational pursuit. In cases of this sort, physical custody is often granted to the father.

Law requires that at least one parent is always legally responsible for the child. Any change in the status of custody rights must also always be made in concern with the judicial system.

It is possible. However, the court must be petitioned with the case being presented that the non-parent has a meaningful relationship with the child, and that the welfare of the child is best in the non-parents hands.

It depends on the length of time the child has resided in a state, any previous court proceedings, the residency of each parent, and so on.

There is no such thing called right time. The ultimate concern should be to maintain complete honesty and integrity when discussing the situation with the child. Children are often much smarter than they might lead one to believe.

This would put the child in a horrible situation. The worst thing a child must do is make a statement choosing the parent he or she would want to live with. In a lot of cases it must eventually be done, but if the child has not come forward, then a parent should probably not ask.

Not, surprisingly, it is women who are most in favour. Perhaps this is due to the recognition of the value of maternal instinct. For whatever reason, it has been the precedence set in the past and traditionally many judges find it difficult to change their ways. However, with the changing of socio-economic structure of contemporary society, fathers are beginning to have a more significant parenting role.

Again, not surprisingly, women are usually more wanting of custody than fathers, but the percentage of the fathers petitioning for custody is growing. This is very commonplace in a dual-income household.

Typically, the parents abide by the court-ordered arrangements for custody. However, it is not uncommon for the terms to change shortly thereafter the divorce due to change in lifestyles. (Remarrying, financial problems etc.)

What are the different types of custody?

Custody can be divided up into two parts, legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody means that the parent has the ability to make the major decisions about the child's health, education, safety and welfare. Physical custody refers to which parent the child lives with.

What are the factors that the court considers during a custody case?

The primary standard that the court uses to determine a custody case is always, "what is in the best interests of the child." The court has to determine many factors when it makes this decision.

Some of the factors that are considered when the court makes a custody determination are: (1) emotional and physical environment; (2) the personal safety of the child; (3) moral atmosphere of the household; (4) the mental and physical health of the parents; (5) the age of the children; (6) the age of the children; (7) preference of the child; (8) the prior behavior of the parents, including any history of abuse; (9) the ability of each parent to care for the child; (10) and the importance of religious upbringing within the family.

What type of custody arrangements can a court impose?

Once a court makes a custody determination, there are several possible custody arrangements that a court may impose. The court may impose: (1) sole physical or legal custody; (2) sole physical custody with joint legal custody; (3) joint custody. The term "joint" does not mean equal. Instead, "joint" means that the parties equally share the obligation to raise the child.


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