If you are facing a divorce, you naturally have questions about child custody, but you may not know where to start. There are, however, some basic first questions you should ask your experienced Gatesville divorce attorney to help ensure that your parental rights are well protected throughout the process.
What Factors Will the Court Take into Consideration When Determining Child Custody?
If you and your divorcing spouse have exhausted your negotiation option and remain divided regarding your child custody terms, you will need the court to intervene on your behalf. When it comes to matters regarding children, the court always puts their best interests first, and some of the factors that help guide the court’s decisions on the matter of child custody include:
The relationship each child has with each parent separately
The physical and mental health of both parents
The developmental and emotional needs of each child and each parent’s ability to adequately address them
If each parent is able to provide a stable environment for the children
If there are any signs of abuse in either parent’s home
What Is the Difference between Legal and Physical Custody?
Physical custody refers to who will be making important decisions in your children's lives moving forward. One parent can take on this responsibility; you can share this decision-making responsibility; or you can divide the responsibility according to the kinds of decisions being made, which include categories such as:
Physical custody refers to how you and your ex will split your time with your children, and this, too, can be either sole or joint. Often the children will live with one parent primarily (the primary custodial parent) and will have a generous visitation schedule with the other, but you can also divide your time with the children equally or nearly equally. It is very rare, however, for a parent to lose the right to visit his or her children in some form – unless there is a very significant reason for doing so.
Who Will Pay Child Support?
Child support is a payment system that helps to ensure that both parents continue to support their children financially – in a manner that is commensurate with their ability to do so. Child support is calculated according to state guidelines, and the primary custodial parent is generally the recipient. Even if you split your parenting time evenly, however, the parent who is the higher earner will generally pay child support.
Turn to an Experienced Gatesville Divorce Attorney for the Legal Guidance You Need
If you have child custody concerns, Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard – proudly serving Gatesville, Texas – is a dedicated divorce attorney who is committed to skillfully advocating for the parental rights of clients like you. Your case is important, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information about how we can help you today.