Every divorce has a different outcome with the proceedings of them varying as well. The proceedings will determine the amount of time a child/children will get to spend with each one of their parents. It will also determine where the child will get to spend that time. Child custody agreements can come in varying degrees which are determined by the courts or the parents. The terms regarding child custody may be agreed upon by each parent in the process of a divorce. In order for parents to resolve their differences without a battle in court, child custody mediation can assist.
If you and your spouse are not able to come to an agreement regarding child custody, a judge will be required to set an evidentiary hearing or trial. Each parent will have the chance to address their viewpoint. The judge will then make a decision and grant a final custody order during the trial. This will be in writing. The judge will be the one to approve agreements made between the parents unless it is something that can cause harm to a child. After an agreement is approved by a judge, it will then turn into a court order. If a court order is violated by one of the parents, it can be challenged in court.
Child Custody Agreements
Child custody agreements include a visitation schedule and custody. They will state whether visitation will be on a weekly schedule and whether they are residential in nature. The custody agreement will also state when the child is with the parent and include details on holiday and vacation schedules.
Child custody agreements also include parenting provisions. There are various rules that are established in regard to how parents should raise their children. It will include outlines on the child’s medical and dental care, religious involvement, education, and how disputes are handled.
There are various types of child custody arrangements that a judge can grant, with the most common being sole, joint, and primary physical custody. Legal custody is also available.
When one parent is given exclusive rights to the well-being of their child/children, this is known as sole custody. This is a custody arrangement that is rare and typically only occurs if the other parent is violent, abusive, or suffers from a drug or alcohol addiction. This can make the other parent appear as being unfit, and this parent will have no custodial rights or responsibilities to the child.
Joint custody is when the judge approves both parents to be actively involved in the upbringing of their child/children. If joint custody is granted, the child will go back and forth between each of their parent’s homes. Both parents will have to abide by and cooperate to determine how their child will be raised if there were arrangements made for joint custody.
The courts will award joint custody if both parents are actively involved in the process of making long-term decisions about the upbringing of their child.
Physical custody arrangements mean that the child/children will reside with the parent that was granted this custody by the judge. The parent that has physical custody will continue to provide care for their child. However, if any unhealthy circumstances are present, the noncustodial parent will not be granted visitation rights by the court.
Visitation rights may be granted to grandparents as well if the court determines that a relationship with them would be an advantage to the child/children. Grandparents may even be awarded custody if the biological parents are not alive or not fit to care for their child.