You must always take into account the welfare of your children even if you and your spouse are looking to get divorced. If your marriage can no longer be saved and divorce is your only choice, you must first think of what’s going to happen to your children before proceeding.
Divorces are extremely tough on the children, and it is the parent’s responsibility to look after them, especially in these troubled times. As such, you must first consider the following legal options before you and your spouse are divorced so that you can look after your children’s welfare better after the divorce.
One of the biggest questions to answer when considering divorce is: who will get custody of the children? Your children will still need continued care, loved, and support from both of their parents.
Parents who are looking to divorce must first decide on who gets custody and visitation rights. Here are the types of custody that the court may grant to parents they deem fit:
1. Joint custody
The court may grant joint custody to both parents. The father and the mother will both share the parental responsibility for their children. The parents will share all the duties in looking after their children, providing their needs, and making decisions for them.
There are actually two joint custody types that the court may grant to the parents and these are:
- Joint legal custody. In joint legal custody, both parents are granted the right to make decisions for their children. The parents will both share equal rights in making long-term decisions for their children especially in raising them and providing for their needs.
- Joint physical custody. In joint physical custody, both parents are granted equal rights for taking care of their children physically, but the decision-making is left to one parent only.
2. Sole custody
The court will grant sole custody to a parent who can provide all the needs of his/her children. Sole custody is often awarded to mothers, especially if the children are still under-aged.
There are actually two types of sole custody that the court may grant to a parent and these are:
- Sole legal custody. The court will grant all the rights and responsibilities to one parent to making long-term decisions regarding the children’s welfare. This will include making long-term decisions on important matters such as educational plan, emotional well-being, moral and religious development, and medical care.
- Sole physical custody. Insole physical custody, the children will reside with one parent only. The court will grant supervision of the children. The other parent will be subject to visitation rights if the court decides that it is in the best interests of the children.
3. Shared custody
While joint custody gives equal rights for both parents to make important decisions in raising their children, shared custody is about having legal right to share the children.
- In shared custody, parents have equal right to share their children. Each parent can attend to their children’s needs for a predetermined amount of time. It is then the responsibility of a parent to take physical care of their children and provide for their needs when they are under his/her supervision.
- Long-term decisions, especially on important matters such as education, healthcare, and religion, however, are not shared.
- If the shared custody allows shared decision making, both parents are required to be involved in the best interests of their children. Both parents should always agree and work together in making decisions especially in the upbringing of their children.
4. Split custody
Split custody is the least common type of child custody where you’ll be splitting the children between you and your spouse. For example, if there are four children in the family, two will be with the mother, while the other two will be with the father.
Split custody arrangements will include:
- Each parent can still have shared legal custody of their children. Both of them will have both share equal rights in making long-term decisions for their children, especially in their upbringing.
- Each parent must have physical custody at least one of their children.
It’s also important to note though that split custody can only be granted in these following scenarios:
- Split custody is allowed by your state’s laws.
- The family must have two or more children.
- Both parents must agree on this custody.
- You must prove to the court that it is the best way to look after the children’s welfare.
Perhaps the toughest part of a divorce is when you have to decide who gets the custody of the children and the changes in finances. The divorce might be difficult for the parents, but it is even tougher on the children. The legal actions that parents will take from here can be very stressful for the children. These legal actions, especially about child custody, visitation rights, and child support, can have a long-term effect on your children’s well-being and future. So you must always think carefully what to do for your children after the divorce.
About The Author:
Michael Lawson is a specialist bankruptcy attorney who has helped many clients in the past move past their bankruptcy. He currently writes for Blclawcenter.com. In his spare time, he likes to enjoy some downtime traveling with his family.