Divorce & Family Law.
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Custody is often the most sensitive of Divorce and Family Law subjects. Two parents, often at odds over who would better serve the interests of their most prized possession; their children.
Barring a peaceful and compromised settlement, emotions often take over leaving the court to determine what is in the best interests of the children. In making this decision the court will consider various factors including:
- The children’s ages
- The children’s health
- The parents’ respective health
- The parents’ availability to the children
- The standard of living of the family
- The opinions of the children (if the court considers them old enough and mature enough)
The court can award, or the parties can agree to different types of custodial arrangements such as:
- Joint custody, primary residence with one parent (when the children primarily reside with one parent, subject to the visitation rights of the other parent but both parties are involved in decision making)
- Shared physical custody (when the children reside with each parent approximately half of the time)
- Sole legal custody (when the children not only reside primarily with one parent but that same parent also is empowered to make the sole decisions on major issues such as medical, religion and education)
- Joint legal custody (where the parties are expected to work together to make major decisions affecting the children as if they were still married with neither party having a greater say on any given issue)