For clients in the midst of divorce or separation, there are many unknowns and hard decisions to make at every turn. Furlong Ford Custody Lawyers take the time to listen and understand the worries and goals you have regarding the future of your children and yourself. They thoroughly study the details of your situation and skillfully prepare your case to represent your best interests in court. Divorce and separation means the end of the family relationship as it was, however, with careful planning and experienced guidance, the current struggle does not have to last forever.
Best interests of the child
Child custody arrangements are always decided with the “best interests of the child” in mind. Many elements are considered under the umbrella of “best interests of the child,” with the overarching criteria of what is best for the child’s physical and emotional welfare. Information regarding the age of the child, the primary care-giver involved and the child’s ideas and opinions will be weighed and assessed by the court. Current and past issues regarding parent/child relationships and parental communication will be considered.
What is child custody?
A parent with custody of a child is legally entitled to decide important details for the child including:
- The child’s living arrangements
- The child’s religious upbringing
- Anything regarding healthcare and medical decisions
- Formal education and extra curricular activities
What are the different types of child custody?
Sole Custody: A parent with sole custody assumes responsibility for important decisions involving the child’s education, legal name, and health and living arrangements. The child can spend equal time with each parent or live mainly with one parent and have access to the other.
Joint Custody: In this situation both parents must agree on important decisions regarding the child. Unless specific responsibilities are spelled out in the terms of the custody agreement, neither parent has the right to make these decisions alone. Joint custody does not affect child access or the amount of time spent with each parent. In the best interests of the child and within the requirements of the family situation the child might live with one parent mostly or alternatively with both parents for an equal amount of time.
Shared Custody: In a shared custody arrangement, parents have equal rights and responsibilities regarding the important details of the child’s life. In addition the “Shared custody” arrangement requires each parent to spend approximately the same amount of time with the child. Although the time spent with each parent may vary it should work out to be no less that 40%.
Does the parent with custody get to live with the child?
In sole or joint custody, a child could live most of the time with one parent, or with both equally. In shared custody the parents share legal and physical rights for the child regarding important decision-making and amount of time spent with the child.
How can I choose which type is best?
Divorce and separation is a highly emotional time for families. When all rational thoughts seem to have gone out the window, fear and insecurity can make people act in unpredictable ways. A formerly fair and level- headed spouse may suddenly and uncharacteristically try to limit the time a child spends with the other parent. Different types of custody arrangements are available, designed to serve the best interests of the child. Parents can and should make their wishes known regarding the type of “custody” arrangements they prefer, however the court will be the final decision maker. A well thought out plan created ahead of time, with the help of an experienced child custody lawyer, will be taken into consideration by the court and can be crucial in meeting your chosen objectives.
How can our child custody lawyers help?
If you are considering or in the midst of separation or divorce, you and your family will be facing many uncertainties. Furlong Ford Child Custody lawyers will guide you through the complications of family law as it pertains to your specific goals and situation. We are available to answer any questions you may have with knowledge and compassion. We offer practical, affordable options and will guide you step by step, toward meeting your chosen goals.
Phone: (905) 448-4800