A Comprehensive Overview of Child Custody and Visitation Rights

Divorcing your spouse is not an easy move to make. According to Finances Online, divorces in the U.S. dropped to a 50-year low in 2019. Still, it may be the right move for you and your family. You and your former spouse must discuss several important matters during divorce proceedings, but none of them outweighs the issues of child custody and visitation rights. Continue below to learn how child custody and visitation rights may be handled during your divorce.

What Are the Different Child Custody Arrangements?

Child custody is the right bestowed to a parent, relative, or guardian to watch over and care for a child under 18. After you decide that divorcing your spouse is necessary, you should focus immediately on sorting out a workable custody arrangement. The last thing you want is to get dragged into contentious custody conversations, as those conversations will not benefit you or your children.

The court must assign legal custody when deciding a child’s guardianship situation. If you are granted legal custody, that means you can exercise control over your child’s schooling, healthcare, and other essential matters pertaining to their upbringing. Legal custody can be awarded to one or both parents.

A parent has sole legal custody if they are the only one making decisions about their child’s life. The court may award sole custody in cases where the other parent is abusive or absent. In joint custody arrangements, parents must work together to raise their child. They must consult one another before making any critical decisions concerning their kid, even if they are divorced.

The court is also in charge of deciding who has physical custody of the children following the end of a marriage. More often than not, the court will award physical to one parent while the other receives visitation rights. Parents can also agree to a joint physical custody arrangement, which sees the child live in two households for roughly the same amount of time.

What Are Visitation Rights?

Visitation rights are given to any parent who does not receive physical custody of their child. These rights allow parents to continue seeing their children. Courts rarely deny visitation rights even if the child only desires to live with one parent. According to the Legal Information Institute, visitation rights are usually only denied in situations where one parent has a history of abusing the child.

Discussing child custody and visitation rights with a lawyer is necessary if you’re divorcing your spouse. Figure out how those aspects of the divorce may be finalized before you proceed with your plans. Reach out to C.E.L. & Associates Inc. today, and let’s start having those important conversations.