Child Custody – Jurisdiction

When parents who have children divorce, child custody is usually one of the most troubling problems to solve.  Often, in deciding these issues, a court hearing is required. Many times it is necessary to have experienced divorce attorney assist you in navigating the court system.  This protects your rights.  An attorney will present your case in the most favorable light.

There are two types of custody: physical custody and legal custody.  Legal custody is where a parent is given the rights and responsibilities to make decisions for their child. The types of decisions include discipline, education, medical care and religion. Many custody disputes are over physical custody.  Physical custody dictates with which parent the child will physically reside.

Typically courts will award physical custody to both parents.  This is referred to as joint custody. Primary physical custody is where one parent has custody of the child the majority of the time. If one parent is granted primary physical custody, visitation rights are typically given to the other parent.  A judge considers many factors in making a decision with regards to child custody. In a custody dispute, the court will make this determination based on the best interest of the child.

Best Interest of the Child

While every case is different, there are certain factors a court will consider.  These are referred to as the “best interest factors.”  These factors include things such as the child’s age, the parent’s mental and physical health, and the ability to offer a stable environment for the child. The court may also consider the emotional bond between the child and both parents, as well as the willingness of each parent to maintain a good relationship with the other parent.

The judge can also rely on the testimony of others in making its decision.  Witnesses such as neighbors and family members, a child psychologist, or a representative from Child Protective Services, can all testify to the best interest of the child. Depending on the age of the child, his wishes may also be considered. Having an experienced attorney on your side can help the judge to see your evidence as more favorable than the other parent.

While courts prefer the parents work together to secure a fair visitation schedule, it will make a final determination if necessary.

Call (702) 914-0400 to talk with a Child Custody Attorney at Right Lawyers.