Are you or a loved one going through the divorce process and have children? Read the answers to these 4 child custody questions, then call us.
1. What are the Differences Between Legal and Residential Custody?
- Legal custody designates who makes the important decisions in the child’s life, whether one parent has sole legal custody or both parents share joint legal custody.
- Residential custody refers to a primary residential parent with whom that child lives and, in some instances, this can be shared equally.
- When the parties can work together, they will share joint legal custody and both will make decisions about important aspects of a child’s life.
2. What is Shared Residency?
- Shared residency – sometimes called split custody – means children have relatively equal time with each parent.
- Rather than spending the majority of time with one parent or the other, children spend a significant amount of time with each.
- Shared residency arrangements normally work best when the parents get along and both homes have adequate space for the children.
- Although a shared residency arrangement works very well for children whose parents are getting along, it doesn’t work so well is they are not.
3. Can the Child Choose Where They Want to Live?
- The first step is to make sure the child really wants to make that change, and the court will make sure the child is not simply playing one parent against the other.
- To move forward, an application is made to the family court or the Supreme Court to formalize the request. The court may appoint an attorney to represent the child and render a decision based on what’s best for the child.
- Courts will not rely solely on a child’s preference, especially in the case of younger children.
- The child’s expressed interest in moving from one parent to another does not make the change automatic, but the court does consider a child’s preference and may address any issues in the current home.
4. What are Grandparent’s Rights?
- Sadly, it’s common for grandparents to describe the wonderful relationship they once enjoyed with their grandchildren – but which has been lost because circumstances changed.
- If one parent refuses access to the children, regardless of the free access that formerly existed, there’s no hard and fast formula that dictates grandparents’ access to the children.
- In such cases, it will be necessary to file an application with the court, asking the judge to address what is proper – and what’s in the grandchildren’s best interest.
- A court will often consider the historical interaction between grandparents and their grandchildren.
- Although circumstances differ, grandparents on either side can use certain applications to establish access to their grandchildren.
Are you or a loved one going through the divorce process and have questions about child custody? After reading these 4 child custody questions, contact experienced Buffalo Child Custody Lawyer Michael Ranzenhofer.
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