Marriage is a beautiful relation binding two different people together in a bond of respect, love, and care. But when this relationship is on the rocks, not just the partners but especially their children go through an immense emotional jerk. The abortive efforts ultimately end up in a divorce breaking down the family ties.
This article reflects upon the basics of child custody and divorce to educate the parents about their rights and responsibilities towards children in such cases.
Divorce- issues and rights
Divorce is a legal term used for dissolution of a marriage. Once a divorce order is finalized, a number of important issues are required to be addressed such as alimony, property distribution, spousal support, child custody and child support.
The first consideration is about paying the alimony which may not be applicable in some cases.
The financial status, physical and mental condition, employment records and job skills of both parties are considered while assigning one spouse the responsibility of paying alimony.
Another important consideration is about asset distribution. The parent keeping the minor children usually gets the right to stay in the home, jointly owned by the couple prior to a divorce. Since divorce itself causes emotional distress upon both parties, it is nothing but a waste of time fighting over jewelry or any other article of monetary value through court cases. It’s rather advisable to sacrifice such items for the sake of other important matters such as a child custody.
No matter how much resented and detested the divorced couple is for each other, the love and passion towards the children remain unchanged. The term “child custody” refers to the rights of child care and development and the responsibility of decision making for the child’s betterment bestowed upon parents.
In the USA, any or both of the parents can be given the custody of child depending on the nature of legal orders. Sometimes one of the parents only gets the “visitation” rights. Prior to discussing the custody matters, it is essential to enlighten the readers about legal terms for a child custody.
Types of child custody
The US legislation may grant Legal custody which refers to the rights of decision making regarding health, education, traveling, religious matters, living standards and betterment of children.
1. Legal custody
The Legal Custody might be “Sole” where one parent, or “Joint” where both parents share the important responsibility of decision making. Such kind of custody demands cooperation and sensible communication between parents for the sake of better decisions for their children, despite their personal grudges.
2. Physical custody
Physical Custody is another type where the court decides whom the child lives with. It may also be sole or joint. But the parent who is not given the right to keep the child reserves the right of visitation as per the court orders. Sometimes visitation is supervised or even no visitation is given if there are chances for a child to be harmed.
In some cases, families settle down everything out of the court. Unless the parties approach for legal help, the court cannot enforce any party to abide by the agreement. Upon seeking the legal help, the Family Court initially involves a mediator for parties to come to a mutual consent.
3. The best interest of child
If the mediation is not fruitful, then the petition is filed and after a thorough evaluation, a final judgment comes. The underlying principle in custody cases is “the best interest of the child”.
This best interest is identified through considering the age and health of the child, the personal attachment between the child and parents, parent’s financial capacities, prior family history of violence or abuse, and any other relevant factor.
4. Settling down the custody dispute the sensible way
As a matter of fact, parents must empathize with their children who actually suffer the most in such cases. The separation of parents is a trauma for children which brings deep scars to their souls. The parents must figure out the most sensible way to settle down the custody dispute keeping in view the will and consent of a child.