Your children have to be the focus of the child custody process. Whether you are going through a divorce or have simply split from your child's other parent, the child custody process is likely something you will have to go through. Understanding these points of a child custody case can help you to prepare yourself for what is going to happen.
Methods of resolution
Child custody cases can be resolved through two methods. The first occurs if you and your ex can come up with the child custody agreement terms together, you can get that agreement drawn up and use it to govern the child custody you share. If you can't come to an agreement together, you will need to let the court issue an order. This is done through a child custody trial, which would mean you should look into having a skilled family law litigator assist you.
Factors to consider
In all child custody cases, the child's best interests must be considered. This includes where the child should live, how the child will contact each parent, and who will make the decisions for the child. The type of child custody that is being used must be determined. This means deciding if one parent is going to have physical custody, as well as deciding what decisions each parent is going to make for the child.
In some cases, parents work together to make all important decisions for the child. These parents also spend equal amounts of time with the child. This is considered shared custody, and it is becoming more common.
While child custody agreements and orders usually have some very strict terms, parents should remember that there should be some level of flexibility present. This usually works better if you and your ex can get along in a civil manner. Flexibility is especially important in child custody cases that involve a parent who has a job that doesn't always follow a predictable schedule, such as military members. For example, a recruit division commander at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes might need an alternative weekend if his or her division has B attle Stations on a night on which the child should be at that home.
Modifications are possible
As children grow and other circumstances change, it might become necessary for the child custody order to change. Child custody modifications are handled in the same manner as initial child custody orders, so you can either work with your ex or head to court to get things resolved.