What You Need To Know About Child Custody Agreements

November 5, 2010 by Maricopa County Court  
Filed under Child Custody, Family Court

By Joshua Martindale -

If you think you know everything there is to know about child custody agreements, you have to think again. This is because these agreements are oftentimes more complicated than you can ever imagine, and there are several factors that family courts need to consider before they can decide on child custody agreements. However, there are basic details that you ought to know about how these procedures work. Here are some of the most important considerations.

First, you need to know that sole, legal, joint, and physical are the different custody types that parents are usually awarded in family courts. With sole custody, you get full custody of your child because the courts have ruled your spouse to be unfit for child custody. In these particular rulings, your spouse may have supervised visits, or no visits at all. It all depends on the court’s discretion.

Physical custody is when your spouse is awarded visitation while your child primarily lives with you. Legal custody, on the other hand, gives you the right to decide on your child’s behalf, for example on schooling issues, religion, or medical care. A joint custody is a set up where both you and your spouse are granted by the courts to simultaneously have custody of your child.

When a family court comes out with a decision, it considers different factors that are unique to your particular case. However, even while this is generally the case, what you can always expect is that the courts will try to come up with the best decision for the child’s situation.

Other important factors that a court considers include your social behaviors and lifestyle choices, physical and mental health, your child’s living pattern, the emotional bond that exists between you and your child, your capability to provide shelter, medical care, and clothing to your child, among other things. Moreover, depending on how old your child is, the court may allow your child to choose which parent he prefers to live with. This actually differs from state to state.

Child support is also one of the more important things to remember when it comes to child custody agreements. This is because the parent that is awarded the child’s full custody is also awarded child support as well. Moreover, the determination of how much the child support needs to be is done by the courts also. In the event that a parent fails to comply with what the court orders, they cannot be instantly denied their visitation rights, unless the court judge orders otherwise.

These are some of the things that you need to know about these types of custody agreements. Even though you cannot always be certain of how the courts will decide on certain cases, it still helps to know these basic considerations about this complex procedure.

Don’t risk the pain of losing custody of your child or getting minimal visitation rights. Next, discover the best custody arrangement and how you can virtually guarantee a win in your custody case. Don’t miss this: http://www.Child-Custody-Strategies.net.

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Child Custody Law – What Factors Determine the “Best Interest of the Child?”

February 16, 2010 by Maricopa County Court  
Filed under Family Court

By David Slepkow –

The Supreme Court of Rhode Island has been consistent about delineating the factors that The Rhode Island Family Court must analyze in determining Rhode Island Child Custody Cases. Child Custody battles in Rhode Island usually occur in the context of Divorce cases, Post Divorce cases or Miscellaneous Petitions between non married parents seeking custody.

The RI Family court must determine what is in the “best interest of the child” This is very subjective and analytical standard. It is advisable to contact a Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer or a RI Family Law Attorney to get legal advice concerning the facts and circumstances in your case. There are 8 basic factors that the judge should look at in determining the best interest of the child. These factors are used by the court in determining both physical and legal custody of children

“This [C]ourt has held that child-custody awards must be made in the ‘best interest[s]‘ of the child.” quoting Petition of Loudin “[T]he best interests of the child standard remains amorphous and its implementation has been left to the sound discretion of the trial justices.” Id. Several factors must be taken into consideration by the Judge in making a best interests of the child determination. However, no single factor is determinative; rather “[t]he trial justice must consider a combination of and an interaction among all the relevant factors that affect the child’s best interests.” Among the factors the court must consider are the following:

1. The wishes of the child’s parent or parents regarding the child’s custody.
2. The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient intelligence, understanding, and experience to express a preference.
3. The interaction and interrelationship of the child with the child’s parent or parents, the child’s siblings, and any other person who may Significantly affect the child’s best interest.
4. The child’s adjustment to the child’s home, school, and community.
5. The mental and physical health of all individuals involved.
6. The stability of the child’s home environment.
7. The moral fitness of the child’s parents.
8. The willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate a close and continuous parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent.” Pettinato v. Pettinato, 582 A.2d 909, 913-14 (R.I. 1990).

If a parent is trying to modify an existing Child Custody determination / Family Court Order then that parent must also prove a substantial change in circumstances since the last custody order. The Rhode Island Supreme Court ruled “Moreover, before a final custody decree can be reopened or amended, the moving party must establish by a fair preponderance of the evidence that the conditions or circumstances existing at the time the decree was entered have so changed that it should be modified in the interest of the children’s welfare.” Pettinato v. Pettinato “Until and unless the moving party meets this burden, the prior custody award should remain intact.” Id.

There is often conflicting allegations and factual disagreements concerning the above listed factors. Therefore, the Rhode Island Family Court relies heavily on psychologist, Psychiatrist, social workers, DCYFreport and the opinions of the Guardian ad Litem for the minor child.

In a Rhode Island Child Custody case a Guardian ad Litem for the minor child is usually appointed. A Guardian ad Litem is usually a divorce and family Law lawyer. The Guardian ad litem will do a thorough investigation which usually includes a home study, and an interview of both parents. The guardian will also review pertinent medical records, educational records for the child and other records related to the child. The Guardian’s role is to determine what is in the best interest of the child and report his or her findings to The Court.

A Guardian ad Litem is very expensive. The Guardian is not an attorney for the Children. The Guardians’ recommendations are usually adopted by the court.

Legal Notice per Rules of Professional Responsibility: The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers and attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer / attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice.

David Slepkow is a Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer concentrating in Divorce, Family Law, Restraining Orders, Child Support, Custody and Visitation. David Slepkow has been practicing for over 12 years and is licensed in Rhode Island (RI), Massachusetts (MA) and Federal Court. Free Initial consultations. Credit Cards Accepted. You can contact RI Attorney David Slepkow by going to Rhode Island Family Law Lawyer or by calling him at 401-437-1100.

Article Source:  Child Custody Law – What Factors Determine the “Best Interest of the Child?”

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