Always keep your child’s stability in mind, no matter how bad your relationship with your ex-partner is. It’s fine if divorce is the only way to end the relationship. However, you might want to consider using mediation to establish child custody and support agreement.
What is the best course of action? How does it work?
The divorce decision
Divorce is a difficult decision to make. We all imagine a specific life for ourselves, and it can be difficult to accept when it doesn’t pan out.
Many divorcing spouses employ mediation to make the process go more smoothly. Nearly 90% of mediated divorce cases result in a successful settlement.
One of the most important things you can do at this stressful time in your life is to find a method to establish a custody and support agreement that maintains stability. You can take help from Tarrant County divorce lawyers.
What is the definition of child custody?
Child custody establishes each parent’s rights and responsibilities in relation to their children.
Both parents immediately share 50 percent of all rights and duties during a marriage. During a divorce, however, either the parents or the courts must decide how custody will be allocated.
The custodial parent is the parent who has primary custody of the child. According to the latest recent statistics, there are currently 13.4 million custodial single parents in the United States.
2.1. Different Kinds Of Child Custody
Depending on the circumstances, custody agreements can be very different. Child custody agreements come in a variety of forms:
- The parent having physical custody is the one who lives with the child full-time. As previously stated, this parent is known as the custodial parent. This is the mother in just over half of all custody cases (51%). When a child spends the majority of his or her time with one parent, the other parent frequently has visitation or other parenting time with the youngster.
- Legal custody grants a parent the authority to make certain decisions on behalf of their kid (e.g., spiritual, schooling, social events, sports, medical problems, and so on). Even though one parent has physical custody of their children, both parents can share legal custody. When only one parent has legal custody of the child, they do not require the other parent’s permission to make decisions for the child.
- Sole custody refers to when a child has sole legal and/or physical custody of one parent. Even when the other parent is healthy, sole physical custody (where the child spends more than 50% of his or her time in one home) is a frequent arrangement for the sake of consistency. In the United States, almost a quarter of all children under the age of 18 live with one parent full-time.
- After a divorce, parents who have joint custody of their children continue to share rights and duties for their children. This might be on the level of physical custody (kid spends significant time with each parent), legal custody (both parents make decisions together), or both, just like sole custody. Otherwise, parents run the risk of keeping children in a bad situation.
2.2. State Child Custody Laws
Child custody rules differ by state, so you’ll need to understand the laws in the state where your child lives if you want to defend your claim to custody.
2.3. How to Resolve Child Custody Disputes
Custody issues can be settled in a variety of ways. Parents can make the decision on their own or with the help of professionals like attorneys or mediators.
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is a broad word that refers to any form of dispute settlement that takes place outside of the courtroom. These procedures can be incredibly helpful in settling custody disputes, especially when both parents are willing to work together to find a solution.
- Mediation is a sort of alternative dispute resolution that is frequently used to settle custody disputes. It is more informal and less adversarial than court. The family’s decisions are not made by the mediator. They’re merely there to help you and your spouse reach an agreement. It makes sense to employ mediation for custody arrangements if you plan to go through divorce mediation.
- Another informal ADR approach that parents might use to determine child custody, visitation, and other concerns surrounding the childcare situation is negotiation. Negotiations can be done with or without the help of lawyers, but hiring divorce lawyers Tarrant County is always recommended.
- Even if parents opt to negotiate an arrangement outside of court, legal advice may be sought. Attorneys can guide you through the procedure and advise you on what is legally permissible.
- The finished, signed documents that come from your arrangement are called parenting agreements. Following that, the judge may hold an informal court hearing to ask you some basic questions concerning your agreement.
2.4. How to Get Ready for Your Child Custody Hearing
It’s crucial to plan for the worst-case scenario before attempting to bargain with the other parent.
2.4.1. Choose the best-case scenario for your situation.
What do you hope to achieve as a result of the conversation? Which situation is better for your child? (When emotions are high, this may not be the same.)
Do you still want to be a part of your child’s upbringing and decision-making?
How much time would you like to spend with your child in an ideal situation? Do you want to be the primary caregiver for your child?
2.4.2. Learn about the laws in your state.
Even if you and the other parent can negotiate your own custody arrangements, it’s still necessary to know your state’s rules. This will give you a sense of what might happen if the negotiations fail.
What factors does a court take into account while deciding on child custody?
A judge will consider who has previously been responsible for the child’s bathing, feeding, and medical care, among other things.
In addition, the judge will attempt to establish what is best for the child.
Some states begin their investigation using a shared custody arrangement as a starting point.
2.4.3. Evaluate the other parent’s situation
Both parents may not be capable of caring for a child in the same way. Consider how a judge would assess the other parent’s – and your own – capacity to raise your child objectively.
Is there anything to think about in terms of physical or mental health?
Is there a drug or alcohol addiction history?
Are you both dedicated to ensuring that your children have a positive relationship with the other parent? (Judges are wary of parents who attempt to keep their children from seeing the other parent.)
2.4.4. Establish what is feasible.
In a perfect world, your child would spend all of his or her time with you. It’s possible that you’ll never want to see the other parent again. However, except in the most extreme instances, you will discover that this is unlikely.
Remember that the other parent is unlikely to agree to inconvenient arrangements, so think about how they feel before presenting a scenario, since this will make the negotiations go more smoothly.
What is the definition of child support?
Both parents are legally accountable for their children’s financial support. And after a divorce, this responsibility persists.
There are a couple of exceptions to this rule.
In 22.4 percent of situations, the custodial parent is unable to meet basic needs and must seek government aid.
Child support is an agreement in which one parent pays the other to assist cover the costs of raising children where both parents are able to pay.
3.1.What Is Covered By Child Support?
Child support guidelines have been set in every state to assist parents in determining what they may be expected to pay to maintain their child’s current quality of living.
- Food, clothing, and a safe, comfortable place to live are all basic needs.
- In most cases, basic medical expenses must be covered by insurance. Often, the parent with greater employer-provided coverage will shoulder these costs.
- Any out-of-pocket medical bills are considered uninsured medical expenses. Copays, deductibles, surgeries, dental braces, casts, eyeglasses, and any other specialized healthcare costs are examples of these.
- Education is not free, even if it is financed by the government. Clothing or uniforms, lunch money, tuition, books, a calculator, a computer, and tutors are all possible expenses for a student attending school.
- When parents are unable to care for their children while they are at work, childcare is a necessary expense. Daycare, babysitters, nannies, and other services may be included in the costs. During the summer, this cost may rise for school-aged children.
- Children’s basic amusement is seen as a right. This label may apply to computers, television, games, the internet, amusement parks, camping excursions, and other activities.