Joint and Sole Child Custody in Albany
It is already incredibly hard to raise children even while in a committed partnership. That task gets even more difficult if a couple has split up. However, the law still allows two parents to raise their children separately – or for one parent to be the primary custodian. Determining joint and sole child custody in Albany is an important decision which requires professional legal advice. A knowledgeable child custody attorney could give you the resources you need to make the best decision for your child.
What is the Definition of Joint Custody?
Joint legal custody refers to two parents sharing in the decision-making for their child. With this type of custody, the two parents have to discuss any decisions that they are going to make regarding the child’s overall wellbeing and lifestyle, including health, religion, or education. Joint physical custody means that the child is splitting their time between the homes of each parent.
In a joint physical custody arrangement, both parents need to be responsible for all of the typical child-rearing responsibilities, doctor’s appointments, school, cleanliness, et cetera.
A joint custody agreement is a contract between the parties wherein they outline that they are going to share legal and/or physical custody. It is possible for a joint or sole child custody ruling in Albany to be renegotiated at a later date if circumstances change. This is done by petitioning the court for a modification.
What is the Definition of Sole Custody?
Having sole custody can be slightly different if talking about sole legal or physical custody. Sole legal custody means that the custodian does not need to consult with the other parent when making legal custody decisions about the child’s health, education, or religion, among other things.
Sole physical custody means that the non-custodial parent does not have any defined physical custody arrangement. This is usually a rare occurrence. There is almost always some implementation of parenting time for the other parent when the child is living at their home, unless there are safety concerns.
Courts in Albany tend to implement sole legal custody when joint legal custody is not possible, whether it is an issue of practicality or if there is an order of protection that does not allow for it. Sole legal custody could be declared if the other parent has a mental health or drug abuse problem. It is rare for someone to receive sole custody because the base presumption in the eyes of the court is that a relationship with both parents is appropriate and safe – and that a couple that has chosen to have children together should make decisions together.
“Bird’s Nest” Custody Agreement
“Bird’s nest” custody is a colloquial term for when the children have to keep residing in the marital home despite the parents splitting up. In this scenario, one parent will live at home with the kids for half of the week before swapping out and having the other parent live at the home with them the other half of the week. In this sense, the children retain a kind of ownership and custody of the house while the parents alternate between living in the house and living on their own. This type of joint custody agreement might not be feasible in every situation.
Nuances in Child Custody Law That Can Affect a Case
It is important to have some knowledge of how family law is trending and what kinds of case law the courts are adhering to, as opposed to what case law is being questioned or overturned. Attorneys in Albany who work in joint and sole child custody are always receiving news and updates about the work in this field. This can include continuing legal education or subscription services which allow them to know how the legal climate is changing in regards to child custody matters. The average person who has not studied law may not necessarily know of these nuances, which is why it is wise to hire a legal professional to manage the case.
Learn the Differences Between Joint and Sole Child Custody in Albany from an Attorney
Whether you plan on being the sole guardian of your child or you will be sharing custody with your former spouse through a joint custody agreement, a lawyer could provide the right assistance. There are several factors that go into deciding on joint and sole child custody in Albany, and you should have an advocate on your side that could fight for an equitable outcome. Call the office today to learn what your options are.