A divorce is a legal process that releases two people from their marital bonds. It is also, however, an emotional process that can cause stress and concern for parents and children alike. One of the most important aspects of working through a divorce is establishing child custody schedules and plans. For parents who are accustomed to seeing their kids each day, preparing themselves for custody plans can feel daunting.
There is a lot of information that parents should be prepared to understand when they begin the child custody process. This post is not comprehensive, and it does not provide any legal advice to its readers. Individuals who have specific questions about child custody and how New York laws may impact their particular family law cases can contact their trusted divorce and family law attorneys for support.
Legal custody: Making the big decisions in a child’s life
Parents have rights to make important choices when it comes to protecting their children and fostering their well-being. There are many arenas where parental decision-making is important, but often decisions about education and health are of paramount importance. When parents go through divorce, they may fight to maintain their legal custodial power of their kids. With legal custody a parent can remain a part of all important decisions about the raising and welfare of their kids.
Physical custody: Homing a child after a divorce
Physical custody is the form of custody that many parents think of when they envision their post-divorce lives. When a parent has physical custody of their child, it means that their child lives with them for some or all of the time. Like legal custody, parents can share physical custody on a schedule or based on the orders of their family law courts. In some cases, a parent may be granted sole physical custody if their co-parent cannot provide a safe home for their shared children.
Making decisions about custody based on the children’s interests
There are many considerations that must be made before a court can decide just how to establish a child custody plan pursuant to a specific divorce. To guide its decision, though, the court will look at the child or children affected by the divorce and how best to protect their best interests. The subjective needs and interests of the kids can alter how courts interpret and organize custody plans, and parents can be advocates for their children’s interests when they attend their child custody hearings.
Caring for one’s kids after a divorce can be hard. Working with a co-parent who is no longer a partner can feel burdensome and unfair. Courts do their best to work out custody plans that support the growth and interests of kids, but not all child custody decisions are perfect. Parents who have concerns about the child custody process do not have to face their difficulties on their own. They can elect to work with trusted divorce and family law advocates to seek the best possible outcomes for their children and families.