One of the more difficult things in life anyone could go through is the experience of getting a divorce. Even when it is the best thing for a couple to do, the process of divorcing involves so much, from all of the emotions to the legal matters, which could be very challenging and confusing to deal with. When there are children involved, since their lives and futures are also being affected, the whole divorce process then takes on another degree of seriousness. For sure, beyond just the happiness of the couple being divorced, the present and future health, well-being, and security of the children should then take priority within a divorce.
Determining the child custody status for a family is a matter that is often assisted by the legal family court system. While every custody case is not necessarily contentious or conflictive, there is still always a lot that must be considered in relation to the children’s well-being and safety. The lives, livelihoods, and lifestyles of both parents will often be looked at, and perhaps examined in quite close detail. Other factors will also be strongly considered, such as the particulars of location, schooling, and the safety of the homes, among other things. Ultimately, the final resolution in a child custody case must be in the absolute best interests of the children, whether the parents are divorcing or otherwise simply not together.
With a general federal standard, each state, and often each county in a state, could have its own distinct methods, guidelines, and procedures for managing child custody cases. However, in the majority of cases, resolutions of either sole custody, joint custody, visitation, or supervised visitation are most often given. With sole custody, it is determined that it is best for only one parent is legally permitted to have custody of the children, due to all of the factors measured. The visitation resolution is similar, in that the children live within the custody of one parent, but the other parent is granted a certain amount of visitation time to spend with their children. When it is supervised visitation, the other parent is allowed a certain amount of visitation time with the child, but this time must also be supervised and monitored by someone else, such as the custodial parent or someone else that is appointed by the court.
In regards to joint custody, there is the distinction of joint physical custody and joint legal custody. In general, a resolution of joint custody allows both parents custody of the children, wherein the children will spending specific periods of time living with each. This is essentially what is meant by the phrase joint physical custody. In some cases, the courts may determine that, even with joint physical custody, only one of the parents should make certain decisions on behalf of the children. The term joint legal custody is most often used in these cases.
Parents dealing with child custody issues should always remember that the present and future health and well-being of their children is the thing that is most important.