During divorce negotiations, one of the biggest challenges for a couple is to figure out the custody of the kids. The court can decide to give sole custody to one of the parents or let both the parents share the custody of the child together. If you are going through a divorce, some key points need to be remembered.
Primarily, custody of your children can be categorized into Legal and Physical. The former one states that parents have the right to make decisions on behalf of their children and access their private information too. A parent with legal custody of a child, for instance, also has the right to make decisions about his/her healthcare and education.
Physical custody involves the right to be physically available for the children and live alongside them. If a parent is endowed with the physical custody of the child, he/she has the permission to reside in the same house as the child.
Additionally, both legal and physical custodial rights can be sole or shared between the parents.
Shared custody means when both parents are awarded with the rights – (a) to make decisions for their children and (b) be present in their child’s life. Parents have to compromise willingly and work together to find out the best for their children.
Presently, courts also advise both the parents to remain in regular contact with their children, even after a divorce. There is a belief that if both the parents are maintaining a good relationship with their children, it will be in the best interest of the child’ and also provide them a stable and healthy life after a divorce. The best way to give your child a healthy life is to share the legal and physical custody of the children.
Do parents share equal rights in shared custody arrangements?
Well, it’s not necessary. In shared custody arrangements, both the parents are awarded some degree of rights and responsibilities concerning their children. However, in joint custody arrangements, parents are not awarded with equal rights.
Legal custody of a child means both parents have equal legal custodial rights of their children. A parent with legal custody has the right to make decisions about the child’s schooling, religious upbringing, and medical care. Additionally, if disputes cannot be resolved, a family law solicitor can step in and make a unilateral decision.
In joint legal custody, the decision-making will be shared by both parents. However, if you believe the circumstances are raging between you and your child’s other parent and making it impossible to share joint legal custody, you can get help from the best family law solicitor and ask for sole legal custody.
Physical custody of a child means that a parent has the right to have a child live with him or her. This custody cannot be divided equally between both the parents. In these circumstances, one parent spends significante time with the child than the other. However, both the parents can continue to share their rights to live with their children at their place for at least some period during the year.
In a joint physical custody, parents are needed to live relatively close to each other as it reduces the stress on children and allows them to spend a routine.
When the child lives primarily with one parent and has visitation with the other, the parent with whom the child primarily lives is referred to as the primary custodial parent. In this case, the parent will have sole or primary physical custody, and the other parent (the noncustodial parent) will have the right to visitation or parenting time with the child.
Sole custody is essential to protect a child’s best interests. In case of sole custody of a child, a solicitor always seeks to encourage parents to find a way to make a work plan for shared custody. Although, there are times when allowing both parents to share legal and physical custody is not in the child’s best interest. This custody doesn’t work when the family court gets the evidence that a parent is physically, emotionally, or psychologically unfit to take care of their child.
If you want to opt for sole custody, get in touch with the best family law solicitor in Dublin who can offer you assistance. However, it’s only preferable when one parent: is addicted to drugs or alcohol, suffers from mental or physical disability, has a history of domestic abuse, frequently travels and cannot provide a steady home for the child, and is visibly absent from the child’s life.
Sole custody is useful in the circumstances when both parents do not live near one another after a divorce. A shared physical custody arrangement, for instance, would not work well if any of the parents moved out of the city, state, or country. That’s because it wouldn’t be fair to the child to live half of the life in one state and half of the life in another state.
Does noncustodial parent never see their child in sole custody?
Perhaps, not. Sole custody can sometimes be simply awarded when both parents agree on behalf of their child’s best interest. Other times, it’s also necessary to protect the child from potential dangers which a parent may impose to the child.
However, sole custody doesn’t state that the noncustodial parent has to split up all relations with their child. In these circumstances, a noncustodial parent is awarded visitation rights. However, sole custody doesn’t mean that the noncustodial parent has to sever all ties with their child. The noncustodial parent is generally awarded visitation rights.
This visitation can be supervised or unsupervised. In supervised visitation, a parent cannot spend time with their child alone. Some other person must be around to ensure that the child is safe and the visitation time is beneficial for the child. Supervised visitation becomes necessary when sole custody is awarded owing to the parent’s ability to take care of their child’s safety.
In unsupervised visitation, on the other hand, a parent can spend time with their child alone. The type of visitation in which parents are agreed on opting sole custody for their child’s best interest. For instance, a child lives happily with the custodial parent, while spending every other weekend with the noncustodial parent.