The Complexities of Child Custody for Unmarried Couples

Child CustodyChild custody is always a complex issue, but it can be especially challenging for unmarried couples. There is always the issue of who becomes the visiting parent and who will be the custodial parent. Even if you are unmarried, however, the Colorado law mandates that you can still retain parental rights. Unmarried couples have parental rights similar to couples who were formerly married.

To help you navigate through the child custody process, you will still need the help of a qualified family lawyer in Denver. They will be able to determine the best course of action in regards to your parental rights.

Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

The child custody process is formerly known as the Allocation of Parental Responsibilities. It determines who will get custody of the child, and the amount of child support that the visiting parent has to pay.

In the case of unmarried couples, a child will typically take the mother’s surname, unless both parents have taken responsibility for raising the child. Generally, you will have to legally prove that you have a parental connection. Children born to unmarried parents often have their mother’s names because it is easier to verify their parenthood.

Even if the child carries the mother’s surname, the father has all the rights to file for a custody dispute.

It is Not that Different to Married Couples

The custody process is actually not that different to married couples, as long as one or both parents seek a legal agreement under the Allocation of Parental Responsibilities process. This will allow them to gain and to modify custody.

Couples may choose to have a hearing or ask for mediation instead. In fact, it is possible to ask for joint custody, even if you are unmarried. In these cases, key decisions in a child’s life, such as where he or she will study, or where to get medical care, are equally shared by the parents.

What matters most is the well-being of your child. Even if you are unmarried, the courts will always put your child’s best interests first. 

A Closer Look on the Different Custody Types

Child Custody in AlbuquerqueChild custody is one of the issues you need to settle during divorce. When both parents seem to be fit (or not), it becomes more complicated. In the end, it is the child’s best interest that would prevail. Before the court decides who gets the custody, it is important to have a clear understanding of its different types.

Types of Child Custody

  • Physical Custody – A court-ordered decision gives a parent the right to live with their child under one roof. This does not necessarily mean, though, that that the same parent should be the primary decision-maker when it comes to the child’s welfare. In a sole physical custody, the non-custodial parent only has enough visitation rights as ordered by the court.
  • Legal Custody – The parent who gets legal custody will be the primary decision-maker when it comes to the child’s education, healthcare, and upbringing. Under a sole legal custody, the parent has the right to make a decision without having to consult or inform the other spouse. In some cases, a joint legal custody is ordered by the court. However, child custody lawyers in Albuquerque advise that a parent should inform the court when the other spouse violates the joint custody arrangement.
  • Joint Custody – This is possible if the court sees the circumstances fit. For example, if the distance between the houses of the parents is relatively near and both spouses are not involved in issues relating to drugs, abuse, or violence.

Sole Custody vs. Joint Custody

In some cases, when the court sees both parents fit, it orders a joint legal and physical custody. This gives both parents equal rights on physical contact and decision-making. This means that both parents should agree before the court makes a decision. On the other hand, the court gives the sole legal and physical custody to only one parent whom the court sees fit. The custodial parent lives with the child and is the primary decision-maker. Then again, the non-custodial parent will have enough visitation rights. Knowing the different types of custody should make it easier for parents to know what their rights are relating to the child’s welfare. As the law on child custody is intricate and sensitive, you should always seek help from a child custody lawyer in your state.

Child Custody: Some Key Points Your Attorney Must Help You Understand

Child Custody in AlbuquerqueChild custody is one of the biggest issues you and your future ex-spouse would be facing if you have a child or children younger than 18 and you plan to get a divorce. Things could be a lot more difficult if both parties demand to be the custodial parent.

Unfortunately, the technicalities surrounding this area of family law could be quite complex for an average person without a legal background. This is why you need an experienced legal adviser. In this case, you need a child custody lawyer.

Here are some of the key points a competent child custody attorney should help you understand.

Legal and Physical Custody

Custody is defined legally as a person’s right to make decisions regarding their child’s care and upbringing. This is known as legal custody. Physical custody, on the other hand, refers to where the child will reside after divorce.

Base on statutory provisions, divorcing parties have equal rights to claim their child/children’s physical custody. The family court could order either a joint or sole physical custody arrangement, depending on the family’s relevant circumstances.

Visitation Rights

Visitation, also known as parental time or access, is another key point you need to know regarding custody issues. In Albuquerque, for instance, the Law Office of Doreene A. Kuffer explains that it refers to a child’s opportunity to spend time with their non-custodial parent. 

Legal courts look into a number of factors to determine the best visitation arrangements for the child and both parents. “The best interests of the child” is the standard used by the courts to make such decisions.

Parenting Schedule

Many states now use the term “parenting schedule” in place of the terms custody and visitation. This way, there wouldn’t be any negative connotation on the court’s decision on who should be the custodial and non-custodial parent of the child.

These are only some of the key points your child custody lawyer would help you learn as you go along the process. Look for an experienced attorney so you can ensure not only quality legal service but also greater chance of winning your child’s custody.

Child Custody in Colorado

Child Custody in ColoradoOne of the most sensitive issues that divorce lawyers have to tackle is child custody. It is not just about which parent spends the most time with the children of the marriage. It is about reducing the emotional and developmental impact on the child if they are not able to spend enough time with one parent. In these types of cases, attorneys have to take on the role of psychologist to advise their clients on how to minimize the effects on the child while protecting their rights as parents.

Who decides?

The judge usually decides on child custody (called parenting responsibilities in Colorado) matters based on the best interest of the child. The judge considers the following when making that decision:

-What parents want

-Where the child currently lives and goes to school

-How close the parents’ residences are to one another

-What the parent can give the child physically, financially, and emotionally

-What factors in the parent’s history may affect child custody i.e. domestic abuse

Denver divorce attorneys, such as matthewsfamilylawyers.com, have to persuade the judge that giving custody to their respective clients is in the child’s best interest.

Do mothers usually get custody?

The gender of a parent is not a ruling factor in child custody legally. However, mothers often get custody of very young children because they are usually the ones that can and do take care of the children more. Times are changing, but not that much when it comes to parenting responsibilities. Mothers still take on the role of primary care-giver in most cases. It is up to the father’s attorney to prove that the mother may not do a good job in a particular case.

Can parents share child custody?

Courts want parents to continue having a big role in a child’s life after divorce. However, if one parent wants to limit the amount of time the child spends with the other parent for any reason, the attorney has to prove this is in the best interest of the child. This has no impact on child support payments, and the paying parent cannot stop paying child support for whatever reason. Divorce attorneys in Denver do more than draw up legal documents and file motions. They pay a very important role in child custody cases. They protect the rights of their clients, and try to carry out their wishes when it comes to child custody.

The Key Factors Affecting Child Custody Decisions

Child Custody in ProvoA divorce is almost invariably a stress-filled and painful ordeal. Even worse than the process itself, however, is what comes afterward. The possibility of losing the house and paying alimony is bad enough, but what really matters is that you might even lose custody of your children.  

This is one of a parent’s biggest fears, especially if they believe that their ex-spouse is unfit to raise the kids. Child custody is a complex part of family law in Orem. What factors will affect the court’s decision?

The general rule is that judge’s will always decide in the best interests of the child. As such, these are usually the most important factors.

1. Child’s age and condition – Although this is considered an outdated idea, some judges do believe that a child should spend their formative years with their mother. The female parent will often get primary custody of younger kids or those with weaker constitutions.

2. Parent’s lifestyle, income, and history – Does one parent have a history of drug abuse, or a criminal record? Have there been reports of domestic or child abuse in the past? How sound of mind and body are they? Do they have a stable job? These will make a huge difference.

3. Established living pattern – As much as possible, the court wants to minimize disruptions to the status quo. This means that they will usually grant primary custody to whichever parent gets the primary household, so the child will not have to move, change schools, and so on.

4. Quality of environment – If one parent lives in a much safer neighborhood with good schools, however, the court will usually prefer to grant primary custody to them –even if moving will be necessary. The long term benefits far outweigh the short term impact.

5. Child’s preference – A child’s preference is always a significant factor, especially if they are already in their teen years. Whichever parent they are more comfortable and affectionate with will have a strong advantage in custody arrangements.

Remember, though, that courts will usually prefer shared parenting arrangements. It is hard to get sole custody of a child, unless the other parent is judged to be a dangerous individual and harmful influence.