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In many divorces, determining an appropriate child custody arrangement is a critical part of the process. The court determines an appropriate child custody arrangement, also known as a parenting plan, by examining a set of 12 factors about the parents’ lifestyles to determine the arrangement that best fits the child’s needs.
If you are a parent who is considering filing for divorce or who has already begun the divorce process, speak with an experienced family and divorce lawyer about what to expect from the process of creating a parenting plan for your child.
Child custody has two elements: physical custody, which is the role of providing a home for the child and all that comes with a home, such as food and household goods, and legal custody, with is the role of making decisions on the child’s behalf. Both types of custody may be granted solely to one parent or split between two, known as joint custody.
When one parent has sole custody of a child, the other may have parenting time, also known as visitation. It is also possible for the court to deem any combination of joint and sole custody between the two elements, such as one parent being granted sole legal custody of the child but both parents holding joint physical custody.
Friends of the Court are individuals who work with the court to obtain information about a divorcing couple’s lifestyles to make recommendations to the court about their child’s ideal parenting plan. The criteria they use to gather information includes, but is not limited to, the following:
In any legal proceeding, your lawyer is your advocate. This is true in child custody determinations as well. Your lawyer can help you use the available evidence to prove your fitness as a parent and guide you through each portion of the process of reaching a custody settlement, such as acquiring important documents to prove your fitness as a parent and undergoing a psychological evaluation.
The divorce process is rarely simple. When there are children involved, it can become fairly complex and emotionally draining. To prepare yourself for the process of determining child custody and other aspects of your divorce settlement, work with an experienced child custody lawyer. Contact our team at Iafrate & Salassa, P.C. today to schedule your first consultation with us.