Child Custody Matters: Things You Need to Have in Mind
Divorce is sometimes the best option that can happen for either one or both parents. However, you must be aware that it will strongly affect your children. They might not even accept it correctly. Therefore, when it comes to child custody, you have to either make an agreement with the other side, or end the process on trial, and let the judge make the final decision. These four things you have to keep in mind in order to find the best solution for your children's future lives.
Legal and physical custody
There are usually two types of custody – legal and physical. However, it doesn't have to be the case in your country or state, check it before you even decide to divorce. Legal custody means that the judge orders a parent who will have this role. That parent will be responsible for all decisions regarding educational, medical, or other any other type of upbringing. There is one more option where a judge orders joint legal custody, which means that both parents must consult with each other about every decision regarding kids. Physical custody can also be joint or sole. Joint physical custody means that parents share (almost) equal time with children. On the other hand, sole physical custody gives the primary custodian role to only one parent and makes their home the children's residence.
A stable environment is the most critical factor when it comes to physical custody. Children have to be secure, and that's why parent/s have to provide stability and routine. In Australia, as well as in many other countries of the world, money is not the most crucial aspect. Of course, it is essential to be financially stable to provide your kids with everything they need, but there are more relevant factors. You have to be physically present in your home to spend time with your kids. That has to be a routine – that is the way to support your kids throughout their childhood, school, or sports activities. If both parents can show the same support, then joint custody might be the best idea. However, if you live in Australia, you can consult with the most experienced family lawyers in Sydney. They will help you make the right decisions in the whole process, and also, to receive all legal rights you can.
Wishes of both parents are a very significant factor before potential trial, and during it, if necessary. Of course, the best solution is where parents agree about legal and physical custody, as well as visitation time. If everything goes smoothly, courts will, most likely, approve the parents' agreement. However, there might be problems. First of all, the court can reject some agreements which could potentially hurt children. For instance, one parent might exchange alimony for full legal custody. Obviously, such a decision can harm the financial aspect of children's lives, and the court has to reject such an agreement. Finally, a situation that happens quite often is where parents can't agree on the custody. In that case, the judge will make the decision on the trial based on the factors mentioned above.
Children's wishes are not that high factor as parents, but still, it might play a significant role, again, depending on your country or state. Also, it may vary depending on the age of your children. Why is this aspect so sensitive? First of all, it might be a problem if the kid doesn't want to see one parent. In the case of abuse or substance issues, it is welcome, obviously. But, in all other cases, the court will not see this as a good thing. Mostly because they might believe that the reason behind it is your feelings about your ex-partner, or even worse if you said something wrong about your ex to your kid. In that case, things can backfire against you. Usually, family judges will strive to maintain the relationship between the kid and both parents. They know it is the healthiest and most beneficial way to raise children. Hence, children's wishes might become tricky sometimes, so be careful with this aspect if you find yourself in such a situation.
Keep in mind that all these factors might be beneficial for either side, depending on circumstances and judicial decisions. Therefore, try to find the best lawyer to be by your side in the divorce process.