Most couples do everything they can to avoid a divorce. Still yet, sometimes separating and divorcing is inevitable. And truth is, no matter how simple or complicated a divorce may be, things always get messier when kids are involved. If you are going through a divorce and have children, you are probably wondering what your custodial rights are. Let’s take a look at your rights and tips for preserving the children’s best interests.
Who gets custody?
The custody of your children will be determined by a judge or commissioner if you and your spouse cannot come to some type of agreement. Ideally, you and the spouse you are divorcing will want to create your own custody agreement. If you cannot come to some type of agreement, a custody arrangement will be created for you. Many times, your Suffolk County divorce lawyer will draw up a custody agreement and then take it in front of a judge or commissioner to make it official. Please note, however, that many factors are taken into consideration when custody arrangements are put into effect. Generally, though, both parents will receive some level of custody over the children.
Does the mother always get full custody?
Years ago, the mother of the children was almost always granted full custody of the children. Nowadays, however, great consideration is given to who receives full custody, and there have been more and more fathers walking away from the courtroom who are being granted full custodial rights. The following factors seem to be the most pertinent when judges and/or commissioners decide who receives full custody:
- Which parent can spend more time with the children
- Who can transport the children to and from school and other activities
- Who has spent the most time with the children in the past
- Which parent is better financially able to support the children
- Does either parent have current alcohol or drug abuse problems
Is joint custody a real thing?
Yes, it is. When joint custody is granted, this means both parents have equal rights in deciding where the child will go to school, the religion the child will partake in, and the medical services the child will receive. Joint custody, however, does not always mean that the parents will receive an equal amount of time with the child. Even when joint custody is granted, one of the parents will be the primary caretaker and will likely receive more physical time with the children.
Filing for temporary custody
If you are going through a divorce, it is advised that you file for temporary custody of your children; this gives you legal ground to have the child in your care while the divorce is being settled.