Child Custody cases are difficult for the whole family, but are necessary in some cases. There are many different scenarios that can spark a custody case – divorce, legal separation, or allegations of abuse or neglect.
It is important to know that child custody cases begin well before any mediation or trial. The judge hearing your case will care, above all else, about the wellbeing of the child or children involved. Start by providing the best level of care for your child as possible. The presiding judge will be looking for evidence that placing a child in your care is in the child’s best interest.
There are many different types of child custody, and each has it’s benefit for certain situations. When developing your custody plan, be sure to consider the following:
- Physical Custody determines where the child lives.
- Legal Custody determines who makes decisions regarding the child’s education or health.
- Sole Custody grants one parent full physical custody, legal custody, or both.
- Joint Custody grants both parents partial physical custody, legal custody, or both.
Custody arrangements can play out in a variety of ways. One parent does not always receive sole custody of the child. In fact, more and more often, custody cases result in joint physical and legal custody of the child. However, it is also possible for one parent to have sole physical custody, while the parents share joint legal custody.
Explore your options in advance, and know what your ideal plan is. Draw up your own proposed arrangement and schedule. Gather and review all of your child’s relevant records for information.
It is also important to know that not all custody cases are resolved in court. Many cases can be settled with mediation, which can save time, stress, and money. Knowing the child’s other parent’s views on the case can help to determine whether mediation is right for your case.
Next, you will want to discuss your plan with a family law attorney. Consulting with a lawyer will help to strengthen your case. A family law attorney can give you advice from years of experience, while helping you navigate the complicated legal system.
Whether you are just beginning your divorce, or are faced with a child custody case, Jill A. Silverstein may be able to help. Jill has years of experience representing parents in family law cases in the St. Louis area and across Missouri. Contact Jill by calling 314-862-7999 to learn more about your options.