Divorcing parents need to know the child custody laws. These are the laws that govern the outcome of their custody case which directly affects the time they spend with their children. Even though child custody laws vary from from one location to another, there are general ground rules that are applicable everywhere. Here are some laws you need to know when you are filing for child custody.
Establishment of the court order
Until a custody order is established, both parents have an equal claim under the law to the children. This is important for you to know because some parents think that the court will automatically give them custody because they are the mother or father. If you and the child’s other parent agree on a custody and visitation schedule, then this isn’t a big deal. Courts just accept any agreement that both parents submit
However, if you and your child’s other parent do not agree you need to be prepared to make your case to the court about why your custody agreement should be accepted. You will need to do this by providing the schedule that you would like adopted, and also submitting documents that show your plan is in the right interest of the child.
The principle of the court
Child custody laws revolve around the principle that the court always needs to do what is in the right benefit of the child. This is the rule in every state. So, when you’re filing for child custody, you need to make sure that you don’t do anything that looks like you are acting in a way that isn’t in the child’s best interest. This means that you need to work with the child’s other parent about visitation until you have a custody order.
And, you need to communicate with the child’s other parent about what you are doing with the child. Do not take the child out of the state. Most states issue orders at the start of the custody case that says the parent cannot take the child out of state without written permission of the other parents and the court. If you must leave the state with the child, get that written permission. If you don’t, the child’s other parent can accuse you of leaving with the child and kidnapping.
Visiting the child
Unless there is abuse in a family situation, parents always have rights to visitation. Keep this in mind as you file your custody schedule and plan. The child’s other parent has the right to see the child, so schedule in fair visitation. And, you have the right to see your child, so don’t let your former spouse tell you otherwise.
These are some of the basic laws that you need to know while you are filing for child custody. You also want to do more research and find out the laws that are particular to your state. If you are well informed and know the laws, then you will be better prepared to get the outcome of your custody case that you want.