Going through a divorce is something that is never easy to do. With all of the emotions, alone, not to mention all of the legal matters, there is often a lot to the divorce process that can be pretty tough to deal with. If there happens to be children involved, the whole divorce process takes on another degree of seriousness, as the lives and futures of the children are thereby being affected. For sure, beyond just the happiness of the couple being divorced, the present and future health, well-being, and security of the children should then take priority within a divorce.
The legal family court system is the venue where the status of child custody is determined. While every custody case is not necessarily contentious or conflictive, there is still always a lot that must be considered in relation to the children’s well-being and safety. A major consideration will always be the lives, livelihoods, and lifestyles of both parents, and this all may even be examined in close detail. Other factors, such as the safety of the homes, the particulars of location, and schooling, among other things, will also be important to consider. Whether the parents are divorcing or are otherwise just not together, the best interests of the children are ultimately what will determine the final resolution in a child custody case.
Beneath a federal standard, each state, and often each county in a state, may have distinct guidelines and procedures for handling child custody cases. However, the majority of cases are given a resolution of sole custody, joint custody, visitation, or supervised visitation. With sole custody, it is determined that it is best for only one parent is legally permitted to have custody of the children, due to all of the factors measured. Somewhat similar to sole custody, only one parent is granted custody of the children in a resolution of visitation, but this allows the other parent the privilege to visit and spend time with the children for a certain amount of time. When it is supervised visitation, the other parent is allowed a certain amount of visitation time with the child, but this time must also be supervised and monitored by someone else, such as the custodial parent or someone else that is appointed by the court.
With joint custody resolutions, there is sometimes a distinction made between joint physical custody or joint legal custody. In general, a resolution of joint custody means that the children will be able to live with both parents, spending specific periods of time living with each. This circumstance is what is usually meant by the phrase joint physical custody. In some cases, only one parent may be permitted by the courts to make certain kinds of decisions on behalf of the children, even with joint physical custody. These are the instances when the term joint legal custody are used.
Parents dealing with child custody issues should always remember that the present and future health and well-being of their children is the thing that is most important.