Legal custody is an important aspect of any divorce involving children. In short, this gives a parent the legal right to make a variety of long-term decisions about raising their children.
When you're married, your children get used to the fact that they live in the same house as both their parents. However, after you decide to divorce, this will all change. Since this is such a big adjustment for children, you must explain the finer details of joint custody.
There are many steps you can take to prevent future child custody disputes, starting with the creation of a comprehensive parenting agreement. With this in place, both parents have a clear idea of what's expected of them and the steps they can take to provide their children with as much stability as possible.
A child custody battle is one of the most terrifying and emotional experiences that a parent will ever have to experience. The thought of losing your right to spend time with your child, even if it's losing just a few days with the child each week, is enough to cause some parents fits of anxiety and fear. Although each child custody dispute is different -- and every parent has his or her reasons to hold a firm position -- parents who are facing a child custody court case may want to consider the following:
Few parents relish the thought of having someone oversee their every interaction with their children, which is what happens when the parent exercises supervised custody of the child.
If you can master the art of dealing with your ex-spouse diplomatically and patiently on a daily basis, you will have achieved an incredible feat. Not only that, but it will support your child's healthy growth and development. One way to support your ability to be diplomatic and sidestep potential areas of conflict and disagreement is to create a carefully-planned parenting agreement that includes well-thought-out parenting provisions.
Most people wisely shy away from discussing religion and politics with their family, friends and business associates. But if you're raising a child with your ex-spouse, the topic of religion - particularly the religion under which your child is raised -- is bound to become a serious issue if you and your spouse maintain competing viewpoints. To avoid this potential point of contention between you and your ex, you should get serious about the matter during child custody negotiations, so you can pin things down for the future.
It might seem like a remote possibility at this time, but spouses and their marital situations can go through a lot of intense changes after a child is born. In many cases, the stresses of parenting are enough to highlight the loose bonds that have held a marriage together, and a couple can split apart. Sometimes, one of the individuals is completely blindsided by the decision to divorce, and this spouse could be at a disadvantage during the divorce process if he or she is not prepared.
Single custodial parents who share custody with a noncustodial parent may find themselves in between a rock and a hard place if they want to move to a new state with their children. Most child custody agreements and child custody orders will restrict the custodial parent from moving too far away from the noncustodial parent when the distance of the move threatens to interfere with the noncustodial parent's visitation rights.
If you live on the other side of the country -- or on the other side of the world -- from your child's other parent, you might need to come up with some creative solutions to ensure that both of you get to spend adequate time with the children.