When married couple divorce or when any unmarried couple starts living separately, often disputes arise about which parent will take the children’s custody born out of their cohabitation.
Also, how the parent who did not get children’s custody can maintain an affiliation with the children. All these disputes are usually decided based on the law of child custody.
According to the law office of Amanda J Cook, following are few questions that arise which has been answered in this post.
- Will the children’s custody always remain with one parent only?
While deciding about the custody of children, courts will rarely consider about joint custody. Any joint custody can be either of the 3 forms as follows:
- Joint physical custody under which children are able to spend equal time with each of the parent turn by turn.
- Joint legal custody where educational, medical, religious decisions are taken by both parents with mutual discussion.
- Both of above
Most of the courts of the USA will order for joint custody only when both parents will agree to this arrangement otherwise courts are very reluctant to order for this. They will like to ensure that parents will be able to maintain communication and collaborate with each other after divorce.
- Can any third person who is not parent can take the legal or physical custody?
In many cases, none of the parents are given the children’s custody in case there is an issue of mental health or drug abuse etc.
Under such circumstance any third person will be given children’s custody under the order of court either as foster care arrangement or court-ordered guardianship
- What are the various factors considered by the court while deciding about custody?
Courts will usually look about the best interest of the children and that is the only top priority for them. Any judge will prefer that child can maintain same school for education and same community and religious affiliation.
Best interest of the children may depend upon following factors:
- Gender, age, physical and mental health of the children
- Physical and mental health of the parents.
- Parent’s life style and various other social factors which also includes the chances of child abuse etc.
- Bonding of the children with the parent and also the ability of that parent to guide the children.
- Ability of parent to provide shelter, food, medical care and other needs of the children.
- Quality of school where the parent is like to move after divorce
- Life style of the children
- If the child is 12 years or above then his or her preference will be considered.
- Ability of the parents maintaining healthy communication with children as well as another parent
- What is the legal standing in case of gay or lesbian couple?
In few states the sexual orientation of parents will not deprive them to get child custody however in certain cases they may also be denied, keeping view of the interest of the children.
- Can race of any parent be an issue during custody?
Usually while deciding the child custody the race of the parents is not considered however in certain cases if one of the parents who gets the custody and later marries someone of different race then another parent can appeal for modification of order.
- Will mother usually have more rights on children than father?
During earlier days, most of the mothers used to get children’s custody during tender age (below 5 years) however nowadays the child custody is given keeping in view the best interest of children.