If you decide that you want a divorce, one of the major things to consider is how it will affect your child. There are a lot of issues that have to be dealt with, including where your child will live or who will be providing for him or her. In cases where the divorcing couple remains friendly, the parents can come up with an agreement that is acceptable to both parties. Otherwise, it might be better to seek the help of a judge for temporary child custody.
Temporary custody is a provisional grant of custody during a divorce or separation. This is meant to last only until the end of child custody or divorce proceedings. The primary purpose of a temporary custody is to give the child a sense of stability while the case is ongoing. It also helps prevent the parent to relocate with the child in the duration of the case. As in most child custody cases, granting temporary child custody always takes into account the child’s best interests. Additionally, a temporary custody can become a permanent arrangement by order of the court.
Reasons for considering temporary custody
There is a number of reasons for a parent to decide to give temporary child custody to another person, including the following:
- Separation or divorce – parents may agree to grant a temporary custody arrangement while waiting for the final decision on their child custody case.
- Domestic violence – the court may issue a temporary custody agreement if threats are made directed at the child
- Financial issues – when a parent lacks the resources to provide for his or her child, temporary custody may be assigned to a trusted individual
- Illness – when a parent is hospitalized or is momentarily disabled, he or she may ask a relative or a friend to temporarily take over guardianship of a child
- Busy schedule – parents who have responsibilities that occupy the majority of their time, such as education or work, may request a trusted individual to take care of the child for a certain period of time
Specifics of granting temporary custody
When temporary child custody is given to another person, the parents has the option to create a temporary child custody agreement. This document must contain the following details:
- A set timeframe of when the agreement starts and ends
- Where the child will be living during the temporary time period
- The specifics of the visitation rights of the other parent (e.g. schedule)
The court believes that it is in the best interests of the child to retain a meaningful relationship with both parents. Having said that, the other parent that did not receive temporary custody is ordinarily given visitation rights with reasonable terms. It is the practice of the court to grant visitation unless there are issues that compel it to do otherwise.
The parents may also consider awarding temporary custody and guardianship of their child to the following:
- Extended members of the family
Losing temporary custody
It is almost always the case that temporary custody is upheld until divorce proceedings are finalized. However, there are instances where the judge can change the terms of the custody agreement. Temporary custody can be taken away from a parent if it no longer serves the child’s best interest, there is a significant and impactful change in the situation, or if the custodial parent is hindering the other parent’s visitation privileges. But even if a parent is stripped off his or her temporary custody rights, it can still be reclaimed.
At the end of the day, the decision of the court regarding permanent child custody will be based largely on the child’s safety, health, stability and overall wellbeing.