Custody is one of the most difficult issues in a divorce. Parents love their children equally. However, a divorce means they will live apart, and the children must reside with one of them. Parents may share some form of physical or legal custody. Physical custody means the child lives with one designated parent. Some states award joint physical custody when the children spend nearly an equal amount of time living with each parent. Traditionally, the child lives with one parent (called the custodial parent), and has weekend visitation with the other.
Legal custody of a child means having the right to make decisions about the upbringing. The legal custodian has the right to make decisions about schooling, religious upbringing and medical care. Most states award joint legal custody with one parent having the ultimate decision-making authority. A Custody Lawyer Spokane WA, will explain the importance of custody orders. Even if the parents decide on custody, the judge makes the decision in the form of an order. Hence, if one parent violates the order, the other can take them to court. Parents who cannot cooperate usually end up fighting each other for sole custody. This is an expensive legal battle, and it can ultimately hurt the children. The lawyer must convince the judge that joint custody is not in the best interests of the child. To know more, click here.
It is rare for courts to award sole custody to one party. Even if one is awarded sole custody, the other will be granted joint legal custody. One should only seek sole custody if the other parent poses a threat to the children. Joint custody is the preferred form of custody. However, there are some advantages and disadvantages. For instance, the children should have contact and involvement with both parents. On the other hand, the children move back and forth, and lingering disputes between parents may hurt them.
Call a Custody Lawyer Spokane WA, for more information. The Cooney Law Offices have experience in custody matters and will be glad to help. It is difficult to put the children first in custody matters. However, this is much better for the children’s well-being.