Frequently Asked Questions About Custody And Parenting Time

One of the most arguable issues within divorce proceedings is child custody. It also has the greatest likelihood of affecting the most number of lives in the immediate aftermath of the couple’s separation, as well as in the long-term future. The impact of parenting arrangements will be significant in terms of:

  • Children’s entire circumstances during the rest of their development
  • Parent-child bonds
  • Overall family dynamics
  • Extended family relationships

When these issues are under dispute, family law courts and judges side with the children’s best interests. As difficult as it may be to face the necessary legal challenges, it is worthwhile to do what it takes to get custody and visitation issues resolved with the least disruption possible to ensure your children’s well-being.

At Mark E. Sawicki, P.A., my clients in Broward, Palm Beach, and Brevard counties, and beyond have ready access to receive clear answers for their questions and reassuring guidance throughout the divorce or separation.

What is child custody?

Child custody is a term defining the legal and practical arrangements of a parent-child relationship. In a divorce proceeding, the issue of child custody will lead to decisions as to which parent is responsible for the child, as well as what the responsibilities and privileges of the other parent are. This will also determine which parent the child will reside with and how often and what the conditions for the other parent to exercise his or her time-sharing rights are.

The same issues may apply to situations between unmarried parents who are separated or in the process of separating.

What are the bases for determining child custody?

In the United States, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act is the legal basis used in determining who gets child custody. This law applies even when parents do not live in the same state.

In all cases, the “best interest of the child” gets primary consideration in deciding child custody cases. Lawyers can help parents with these cases by advising them on how they can show that they can provide for “the best interest of the child.”

What are the forms of child custody?

The most mistaken public perception of child custody is that it takes the form of sole custody of the child. In fact, there are numerous other forms of child custody, including the following:

  • Alternating: The children alternately live with one parent at a time, during which the parent will have sole authority over the child.
  • Shared: The children alternately live with one parent at a time, but the parents share authority over the child.
  • Joint: Both parents will have physical custody and legal authority of the child.
  • Sole: One parent has physical custody and legal authority of the child.
  • Split: One parent gets full custody over some of the children and the other parent gets full custody of the others.
  • Third-party custody: Someone other than the parents will have custody of the children.

Take Steps To Pursue The Best Outcome For Your Children And Family

Even before you see a lawyer, start keeping a log of all the interactions that you have with your children. Also keep notes on ways that you support them, such as making doctors’ appointments, communicating with their teachers, and attending their extracurricular activities such as sports games and dance recitals.

At the same time, start now by getting the legal counsel you need to secure your children’s best interests as part of your divorce or separation agreements. Call 954-928-9331 or complete a simple online form to request a consultation with me, attorney Mark E. Sawicki, in Palm Beach Gardens or Melbourne about your child custody case.