Child Custody - Know Your Rights | Family Lawyers | LegalShield

Child Custody - Know Your Rights | Family Lawyers | LegalShield

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Child Custody - Know Your Rights | Family Lawyers | LegalShield

Child custody battles can be traumatic for all involved, but especially for the children. Often the most amicable option is settled out of court, but when that’s impossible, a judge can decide.

The good news is you have a right to be judged fairly and not based on whether you are the mother or father.

However, your right to parent and nurture your child could be in doubt, not to mention your happiness.

So, remember, if you don’t fight for your rights, you have no rights at all.

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Child custody can be complex, but common questions arise around:

Who has rights?
Types of custody
And visitation rights

Determining rights can become complicated, but at the start line, when a child is conceived during marriage, both parents have joint guardianship and both have equal rights to custody of their child.

Difficulties arise when awarding custody of a child and there are two types, Legal and Physical. Legal is the right of a parent to make important decisions such as medical care and schooling, and physical dictates where the child will live and with whom.

To make a decision, courts will consider:

The fitness of each parent to care and provide
The relationship between each parent and child
The child’s opinion if old enough

A judge can award joint legal and physical custody, or sole legal and physical custody to one parent, and sometimes a mixture of the two.

When custody is awarded to a sole parent, the non-custodial parent still has a right to visitation, unless denied by the court for exceptional circumstances like posing a danger to the child.

Now if the judge fails to mention visitation rights, you retain your right to visitation.

And the parent with custody of a child could be held in indirect contempt of court, if they refuse visitation to the non-custodial parent. Understanding your agreement is vital, as it sets out the circumstances for your rights to see your child. It’s important to note that child custody is governed by state law, not federal and your rights will be determined by local regulations.

That does not mean you can’t fight for your rights. A family lawyer can help you achieve fair custody of your child.

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