When a divorcing couple has children, their parenting plan must outline child custody and visitation. If parents cannot agree, one or the other may petition for custody in their jurisdiction’s family court – and visitation is awarded based on the child’s best interests. Child custody issues can be very complex, but are easier to understand after careful consideration of the facts below.
Types of Visitation and Custody
Once a parent petitions for Custody Dallas, it is awarded in one of two forms: joint or sole. In joint custody, both parents have equal access to the children; in sole custody, one parent has primary rights. Custody can be physical or legal -; physical custody is day-to-day childcare, and legal custody involves decision-making on the child’s welfare, education and health. When a parent has primary custody, the noncustodial parent gets visitation rights. Joint custody is preferred in most states, unless it’s detrimental to the child’s well-being.
Custody Exchanges and Arrangements
Parents can create a variety of custody and visitation arrangements, such as alternating weeks, weekends, holidays and summer vacations. A custody or visitation exchange may also be arranged, at a time and place mutually agreed upon by the parents. In cases where a record of domestic violence or animosity exists, courts can arrange it so parties do not have to see each other.
Relocations and Modifications
Once the court has approved a parenting plan, it cannot be changed without a modification. Parents must support the modification request with evidence of a change in circumstances, and if they want to move away, they must petition for a court re-evaluation of visitation and custody.
Third Parties and Child Custody
In some areas, courts may consider the rights of grandparents, siblings and other third parties during a child custody case. If a child is abandoned, other interested adults may petition for custody. Visitation rights may be awarded, as long as they are in the best interests of the child. Every state has different rules on child visitation and Custody Dallas, and a lawyer from Lee Law Firm Dallas can give you advice relevant to your case.