Troy Child Custody Lawyer
Obtaining child custody can be a long and painstaking process. In many custody disputes, both parents believe they are fit to be the child’s primary caregiver. Without proper guidance or representation from a compassionate family attorney, parents may risk losing custody or visitation rights. Parents need to prepare for all the possible complexities that may arise during their case as courts will consider numerous factors of both the parents and children while coming to a decision on custody. If you or someone you know is involved in a custody battle, consider contacting a Troy child custody lawyer.
What is the Best Interest of the Child?
When determining a child custody case, courts will look to the “best interest” of the child when coming to a decision. Essentially, the “best interest” of the child standard involves weighing eight (8) relevant factors to conclude which parent be better suited to be the child’s primary caregiver. Under this standard, there is no set formula on how the court will decide custody and visitation actions. Some factors may be more relevant than others and the court will take a holistic approach when making a decision. A Troy custody dispute lawyer understands this approach and may be able to help parents in preparation for providing the factors that collectively make up this standard.
The eight (8) relevant factors used in determining the “best interest” of the child includes: which parent has historically been the main caregiver of the child(ren), the parenting skills of each parent, the mental and physical health of the parents, whether or not there has been any form of domestic violence within the respective parents’ homes (or shared home), the child(ren)’s relationships with siblings and extended family, the parents’ work schedules and child care plans, each parent’s ability to facilitate a co-parent and encourage a relationship between the child(ren) and the non-custodial parent, and, depending on the age of the child(ren), the child(ren)’s own wishes.
Types of Child Custody
Courts will consider both physical and legal custody when making a decision. Legal custody refers to a parent’s right to make important decisions regarding the child’s care, such as the right to make medical, emotional, or religious decisions on behalf of the child. Physical custody refers to where the child will reside and the rights of each parent to visitation.
Parents may be awarded sole or joint physical or legal custody. If a parent is awarded sole physical custody, the child will live with that parent (otherwise known as the custodian parent) for more than 50% of the time and the non-custodian parent will have designated parenting time, If the parents are awarded joint physical custody, both parents will be physically responsible for the child for approximately half of the time in a given year.
If a parent is awarded sole legal custody, that parent only has the right to make major life decisions for the child without the consent of the other parent. If the parents are awarded joint legal custody, both parents must agree on all major life decisions for the child.
Parents should seek guidance from a local child custody attorney before seeking a court order. Mediation is an alternative for parents who are able reach an amicable compromise regarding the child’s welfare.
Contact a Troy Child Custody Attorney Today
The consequences of a child custody order can have a lasting impact on the life of a child. Parents should weigh all their options before deciding how to proceed, just as courts will weigh all relevant factors before making a decision. Troy child custody lawyers have experience in family court and may be able to make a difference in helping you secure custody of your child. Call us today to learn more.