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Child Custody Laws And What They Mean

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Child Custody

Child custody is often an emotional issue, as many people mistakenly believe that joint custody is much better. But, in reality, it can be very detrimental to one’s mental and emotional health. In fact, many studies show that children who have frequent contact with their mothers, tend to do better in school, and are less likely to experience abuse or be involved in crime. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand that they are entitled to custody of their own children, and they frequently see joint custody as better than sole custody. But, in reality, sole custody will provide the most benefits for a child. Therefore, it is important that you understand the differences between the two.


The first major difference between sole custody and child custody is the amount of time each parent has with the children. In most cases, joint custody grants both parents equal time with the child, though each parent may visit the child once per month while the other parent is not allowed to. This is important for understanding child custody laws, as if a judge believes one parent is better at caring for the child, then he or she may award that parent custody. However, the judge must always consider what is in the best interest of the child, and is not limited to which parent the child has more frequent contact with. For further information about sole custody and child custody, visit www.stlouisdivorcelawyers.net/child-custody/.


Sole custody means that only one parent has actual physical custody of the child. So, if a father wants to spend more time with the child, and does not allow the mother visitation, the father is in sole custody. If the mother also has sole custody, then the father may spend twice as much time with the child as with the mother. This is also considered in favor of the mother, as it gives her more control over her children.


Child custody arrangements that result from a divorce will ultimately be decided by the judge. A child custody lawyer may assist the couple in coming to an agreement before the court. The court may choose a mediator or custody counselor to help the parents come to an agreement. The court may also decide custody based on what is in the best interest of the child, although every case is unique and the court needs to consider all of its options.


Child custody can be a sensitive issue for the entire family. Once a judge has made his or her decision, there will likely be a significant change in how the child custody laws are applied. Changes will be mandated in family law court every couple is married. If the ex-spouse wishes to file for a change, he or she must file with the court within six months of the final decree.


Once the child custody case has been settled, the two parents will need to come up with a visitation schedule. If a judge ordered joint custody, the parents will need to work out an arrangement for visitation. The schedule can include extended visitation; it can specify where the parent can visit with the child; or it can simply allow both parents to be active in raising the child. The judge will make his or her own decisions about these factors, but the parents should follow the court’s advice regarding the schedule.

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