When spouses going through a divorce are parents, they must determine arrangements for the future of their children. This requires them to reach an agreement on child custody. When this happens, parents can obtain physical and legal custody of their child. When a parent is awarded physical custody of their child, they are the individual the child spends most of their time with. This spouse is known as the custodial parent.
Responsibilities of a Custodial Parent
The parent with physical custody of their child is the custodial parent. This position in a child’s life carries significant weight and several responsibilities. This parent is required to provide the child with a stable life. This includes a home, food, clothing, an education, and more. They are required to put the best interests of the child first and ensure the best upbringing they can. This is so that the child can remain happy and healthy in the situation they are in.
How are the Arrangements Made?
When a divorce happens, it can greatly affect a child. This is why these matters are handled sensitively and with care. When a judge is appointed to determine the custody of a child, they must do so with the child’s best interest in mind. This allows them to put the child in a situation that works best for them. When coming to this decision, the judge considers several factors regarding the family and the child’s needs. It is the court’s first priority to ensure the child grows up in a healthy environment that allows them to prosper throughout their upbringing.
What is Legal Custody?
There are different types of custody that can be attained by a parent. Physical custody determines the parent the child will live with most of the time. However, legal custody is in regard to a different part of the child’s life. This type of custody allows a parent to have a part in making important decisions throughout their child’s upbringing. These can include matters such as education, healthcare, religious practices, and more. It is important to know that just because a parent does not have physical custody, does not mean they cannot attain legal custody. In fact, it is crucial for a parent to fight for legal custody of their child.
Can Custody Arrangements Change?
When custody is determined during a divorce, it is done in relation to the family’s current situation. Judges do their best to put a child in an environment that is best for them. However, they cannot predict the future. This is why custody arrangements can be modified over time to suit a new family situation, should it change throughout the child’s life. For example, if a parent does not follow the custody agreement, the other parent can file a motion with the court to modify their arrangement.
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