Divorce Custody Cases

Explaining Child Custody Cases:

After the bitter divorce proceedings…with whom the child remains? Child custody cases are the consequence of a divorce where children are involved.

To put in simple words, divorce child custody cases are the legal cases over custody of the child after a divorce. The question of to which parent physical and legal custody of the child is awarded to, is answered and ruled upon by the concerned court where the divorce litigation was filed in.

There are different laws in different states regarding the handling of child custody cases. However, the premise is the same in almost all: the best interests of the child should never be compromised.

The Court may award joint custody to both the parents, sole child custody to one parent or even to the grandparents according to the circumstances.

Different facets of Child Custody cases:

There are basically two kinds of child custody cases: legal and physical.

In legal custody, the court awards one of the parents to take religious, legal, health and educational decisions of the child. The court ruling ensures that one parent takes the entire responsibility of deciding upon a significant part of the child’s life which would forever affect his/her life.

Physical custody deals with the issue of with whom the child lives, how does he spend his/her holidays, weekend breaks and his/her day-to-day routines? The rulings decided upon by the judge handling the custody case after the divorce is legally binding and final. It may be that one parent is awarded the custodian rights of the child while the other is even denied visitation rights (owing to substance or other kinds of abuse) but is still asked to provide divorce support!

How are Custody Cases decided?

Child custody cases can be fought as adversarial litigations in the courts. However, the courts also advise the divorced parents to take the help of a divorce mediator. The latter is a third party mediator who helps the parents to thoroughly discuss about the custody issue keeping in mind the best interests of the child. Through mediation the ex-spouses can decide the best way of exercising visitation rights and handling other child related custody issues.

In case of divorced parents still being dissatisfied by the outcomes of the custody mediator and other settlement procedures, the court may ask them to participate in child custody evaluations. This is to get some fair recommendations by mental health experts who evaluate the custody cases. The custody evaluator analyses the psychological equations of the family in which the child is. He/she also assesses the parent-child relationship and tries to gauge the capacity of each parent in raising of the child. Custody evaluators make use of questionnaires and use related psychological testing tools to give their final suggestions to the judge. They may interview the child’s neighbors, friends, and nannies for a better idea on the concerned custody case. The pointers that they give to the judge may be used by him/her to award a final ruling in the child custody case which is being fought there after the divorce.

It is to be remembered that all child custody cases seek the ultimate benefit and happiness of the child who just happen to have been embroiled in the ups-and-downs of his divorced parents.