5 Child Common Child Custody Questions for Your Lawyer

Child Custody

Going through a divorce can be one of the most stressful times of your life. Everything about your family dynamic is likely to change, especially when it comes to your children. In fact, one factor that makes divorce so problematic is child custody and how the rules can change, making it difficult to plan your case. Your lawyer can help guide you, however, and there are a few questions you can ask that may make the process less arduous.

What Is Sole Custody?

Your spouse may be trying to get sole custody of your children and knowing exactly what this means may help you come up with a counteroffer or legal strategy of your own. Sole custody means that your children would live with your spouse full time and that he or she would make all the major parenting decisions for them. While you might have some visitation rights, they may be tightly controlled by the court’s ruling.

If you plan to pursue sole custody of your kids, it is wise to let your lawyer know this right away. The sooner he or she knows, the more time you have to build your case.

Who Arranges Visitations?

You may worry how divorce might affect your children, especially when it comes to visitation. Seeing one parent only occasionally may indeed be stressful at first, but a consistent schedule can help smooth the way. Unless the children’s safety is in question, most courts allow the parents to work out a visitation schedule that is beneficial to them both and to the kids as well. Experienced legal custody counselors, such as those from Tully Rinckey Law, may be able to help you with mediation in this matter.

Can I Deny My Spouse Visitation Rights?

You may have your own reasons for wanting to deny your spouse any visitation rights to your children. However, unless you can prove there is a valid reason, the court may not allow this. If you are the father in this situation and your spouse challenges your rights, you may have to prove paternity via a DNA test, especially if you name is not listed on your children’s birth certificates.

How Does Custody Work for Common-Law Marriages?

Over a dozen states recognize common-law marriages and the laws that apply to them in case the couple splits. Many of the laws vary from state to state, and it may be helpful to have a law firm well versed in custody law on your side, such as Tully Rinckey. Some states award sole custody to the mother if there was never any official marriage, and if you are the father in this case, you may have to submit a DNA test to the court to prove it.

Depending on the state in which you live, your common-law rights may allow you to know certain information about your child. For example, if your spouse remarries and her new partner wants to adopt your offspring, you may be notified of the legal proceedings without your spouse’s permission. You may want to ask your lawyer about laws in your state and how they might work to protect your rights.

Do I Need a Court Order for Child Support?

If you and your spouse have agreed to a mutual and amicable divorce, you may be able to work out child support details on your own. However, even if you are able, it is wise to approach the court with the terms and have them approved. This can help you enforce those terms if moods change or your spouse wants to modify them later on.

Child custody can be one of the most painful parts of going through a divorce. However, having experienced legal counsel on your side can give you the confidence you need to move ahead and start over.