Custody of Children in a Divorce
The custody of children in a divorce is a very commonly contested issue and our lawyers are very accustomed to dealing with this aspect of a marriage termination.
In the case of contested splits, the custody of children in a divorce is settled by the courts. In most cases a custodial parent is selected, while the other spouse is deemed the noncustodial parent. Obtaining custody of children in a divorce can be quite costly and extremely complex. In most cases courts now order routine child custody evaluations, which must be paid for by the parent who is attempting to obtain custody. These custody evaluations include psychological assessments of each child which help to ensure that the wellbeing of the children involved is a major consideration in any custody settlement.
An important factor to consider when obtaining an uncontested divorce is that the issue of child custody is still subject to the decisions of the courts. Although an agreement may exist between the parents of the children in question, this can be overruled if it is deemed to be in the best interests of the children. The courts possess a parens patriae power and a responsibility which supercedes any other arrangements that have been made. This power also allows the courts to regulate visitation rights and other major issues which may arise in relation to the children.
For example, many custody arrangements require the custodial parent to consult the noncustodial parent on any decisions relating to the child or children's health, welfare or education. It is also usually a condition of the custody agreement that the noncustodial parent be informed of any serious injury to the child or children.
When negotiating a divorce involving children, it is extremely important that you have expert legal advice. This issue is treated very seriously by the courts and there are a number of steps to determining a custody arrangement. Our divorce lawyers will work to ensure that you get the best possible result, and the custody arrangement that is best for both you and your children.