Child custody, visitation, and support issues when the non-married couple separates from one another
Married or not, you still have children together and when you break up with your partner your children need to have a well-thought-out future regarding how you and your partner are going to parent them. This can be very hard to do in a constructive and humane way, but if your ability to get along civilly with your ex-partner cannot be achieved, you should reach out to a divorce lawyer who can help you by treating your breakup like a divorce despite the fact you are not married.
If both of you are the legal parents of the child, whether biological or because you jointly adopted the child, or the non-biological parent adopted the child, you both have a legal and valid right to the child. This means that your child-related disputes are going to be handled the same way as if you are divorcing married couples with children.
You can be required by the court to attend mediation sessions or submit to an investigative process with County personnel to further decide which parent should have full custody or whether both parents deserve to have joint custody.
After listening to a County social worker’s report about how each of the parents of the child in each home situation that you provide for the child the Family Court judge is going to have to make a child custody decision and visitation decision with your child’s health and care in mind. You can talk to a divorce lawyer such as the ones available at May Law LLP about any issues that you come up with.
The best interest of the child is always going to be the legal standard that the judge is going to follow, and in most states, you are allowed to propose your own custody and visitation arrangement and if the judge finds it sensible and correct then they will be approved. The issue arises if one person is disputing a suggested proposal, or otherwise filing for sole custody of the child.
Oftentimes in many states, the court is going to order both legal parents to retain custody, which is often called joy or shared legal custody. This means that each parent is going to be able to have a say equally in the child’s life, such as education, medical care, religion, and more. When both parents have joint custody of a child they are both equally responsible for the support and legal obligation to care for the child.
No matter what you and your partner decide, a divorce lawyer on both sides can really help ensure that everything is airtight and understood while it is to everyone’s satisfaction. Child custody can get messy, and when it gets messy it can really hurt the child in the family the child is used to.