The area of family law regulates all forms of family interactions. Child custody is one aspect of family law that can be important to many. Child custody defines all parents ‘ rights not only to visit with children but also to make significant decisions in the life of the child. Many people may not be aware that child custody has two distinct and essential aspects: legal custody and physical custody. Judicial custody refers to the decision-making power of the parent over important decisions in the life of the child. Education, medical care and religious upbringing are among those decisions. Physical custody means where the child is living. Read more on Tiffany Fina Law Firm near me.
In many cases the parents might have come up with their own joint custody agreement throughout the divorce process. Such agreements are usually accepted by the courts, but these agreements are not bound by the courts, and they may be refused. Parental arrangements do not bind the courts because the courts have an autonomous responsibility to determine which arrangement is best for the welfare of the child. The ability of the court to decide what is in the best interest of the child and establish custody arrangements that are better for the child is essential for enabling courts to have the power to reject parental arrangements.
The parents have two ways to divide their children’s care and power. This first choice is for one parent to have exclusive physical and legal custody while the other parent has rights of access or visitation. Normally, the legal and physical custody will not be divided with sole custody. When one parent has sole custody, usually he or she will have sole legal and physical custody. Yet sole custody comes with some restrictions. An example of such restrictions is that both parents are banned from belittling the other parent, or bad-mouthing.
The other choice is to share shared legal and/or physical custody for the parents. Under joint custody, it is not necessary that the time the child spends with each parent be even. The infant will spend more time with one parent and the agreement for custody may still be considered a joint arrangement. In a joint custody agreement, sharing the legal and physical custody is simpler.
Families may not only compete among themselves during a child custody dispute, but may also have to protect against third parties who claim that the child’s best interests include the custody of a third party. Biological and adoptive parents have higher rights for all third parties in this case. It includes grandparents or other members of the family, stepparents, a nanny or the state. There is also an assumption that the parents would be fit. A third party must prove that the parents are incompetent as parents in order for the state, or a third party, to obtain custody of a child. The main purpose of the court when deciding custody is to facilitate the compromise that is in the child’s best interests.