Primer on Legal Matters in Child Custody for Divorcing Parents
One of the most complicated aspects of a divorce is child support. Plenty of time and resources go into discussions about property division, alimony, and financial division. Agreeing on child custody issues is another matter altogether. What do you need to know about child custody now that you are involved in divorce negotiations?
Legal custody versus physical custody
Some parents have physical custody but not legal custody. There is a huge difference between the two. Physical custody refers exclusively to where the child resides, whereas legal custody is in reference to the authority to make decisions for the child. In some cases, the custody the court grants one parent all custody rights, while in others the court may grant joint custody, wherein both parties have equal rights on making decisions on behalf of the child. The court may also choose to grant custody to a third party if that is in the best interests of the child.
How parents reach an agreement
Regarding reaching custody agreements, a divorce lawyer in Denver. CO may assist married couples who have decided to file for a divorce in two ways. Out-of-court or informal settlements are favorable for many couples. Some opt to have legal advice before and during negotiations, while others settle the matter by themselves amiably. When the case goes through the legal system, a family court judge decides after hearing the arguments of both parties involved.
One of the most important matters to talk through with your legal adviser is child support. Based on statistics, many parents do not receive child support payments in the full amount, or none at all for some. Your lawyer can help ensure that you do not become part of the unfortunate lot.
If you do not have the means to pay for attorney fees, watch out for legal clinics offered by law schools in your area. You may avail of free legal services offered, and gain valuable insight on divorce and child custody matters.