Child custody allows you make the right choices regarding important decisions in the lives of your children who are under the age 18, regarding such issues as education, religion and medical treatment. Both parents have equal rights to custody of their children until a court order is issued saying otherwise.
There are different types of child custody such as:
Where one parent has custody of the children and is responsible for making all decisions regarding the children.
Where both parents have custody of the children and therefore have to make the decisions regarding them together. This will usually only be awarded by a Court where the parties are able to co-operate on matters. It is also known as joint legal custody. However, joint custody does not mean that you have 50% of the time with the children. That would have to be decided between the parents or determined by the Court.
This is when parents have joint custody of the children and each parent spend at least 40% of the time with his or her children.
This is where one parent has custody of some of the children, and the other parent has custody of the remaining children. This is much more rare as the courts are generally reluctant to split siblings up.
Courts may award access of a child to a parent or visitation where the other parent is awarded custody of the children. This access sets out the times for a parent to be with the child.
There can also be supervised access where the court has concerns about a person’s parenting ability. This will almost certainly happen where a parent has abducted the children before.
A parent has a right to visit and be visited by the children. The law also provides that a parent may make enquiries and be given information concerning the children health, education and welfare.
How Can We Help You?
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My law firm has represented many parents in custody disputes in the court and out of court to reach settlements regarding children. Sometimes this can be most efficiently and cost-effectively accomplished with the assistance of a parenting specialist (such as a social worker) who can work with parents, especially if they reach an impasse on any issues regarding the rearing of their children and time-sharing of those children. We will work with such a parenting specialist to help you reach an agreement with your spouse on parenting your children.
In most cases my law firm has worked with my client and the other parent or their lawyer to reach an agreement on custody and parenting times without having to start a court action, or if a court action is begun, then without proceeding to trial.