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Understanding child custody issues in a divorce

When a couple in Stillwater, Minnesota chooses to get a divorce and there are children involved, one of the most frequent disagreements that arises has to do with child custody. Make no mistake about it, children are a hot button issue, especially when both parents want to have the child living with them for the majority of the time. Other problems that could come up have to do with child support and parenting time. It is imperative that parents who are embroiled in a divorce know how to make sure their rights are accounted for while the children's best interests are at the forefront.

Certain factors come into play when it is decided where the child will live and how the visitation rights will be organized. In the midst of a custody battle, it's important to bear certain things in mind. The court will take what is in the best interests of the child and use it as a deciding factor. If the child's life will be disrupted the least with one parent over the other, then that is the parent who will receive custody.

There is frequently confusion between legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody determines which parent makes the important decisions on behalf of the child such as which school they attend and what religion will be followed. Parents are required to follow the court's decision. If they don't, it can be legally enforced.

The best case scenario when there is child custody at stake is for the parents to come to an amicable agreement as to where the child will live and the visitation rights of the other parent. This being an imperfect world, that doesn't always happen and parents will disagree as to the child's living arrangements and other issues. Parents who are in the midst of a custody battle need to know the nuances of how this situation will be handled under the law.

Everything from financial factors to the child's safety will be taken into account in a child custody dispute. Whether the case is agreeable or contentious, parents need to be fully prepared for what lies ahead.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "For Divorced Parents: Know Your Child Custody and Visitation Rights," June 25, 2014

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