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Many parents prioritize their children’s safety and happiness above all else. Fortunately, the law does too. If you are separating from your child’s other parent, it’s important to know your options as well as the priorities of the judicial system.
Child custody agreements are very serious. The legal system uses a significant amount of effort to create and enforce them, so it’s important that you view the process with the appropriate mindset. It’s also important to understand what’s at stake for your family if you’re moving into a child custody arrangement.
Having an experienced family law attorney on your side is key to ensuring that you can spend time with your children. Without an attorney, you risk losing access to your kids or putting them into a situation that would be detrimental to their health. The court can’t understand the whole picture unless you have an attorney to represent you.
Here at Woody Law Firm, LLC, we prioritize families. We practice only family law to give our clients more reliable and comprehensive access to family law experts. Our experience in this field makes us renowned in the Denver area. We have a strong record of winning cases for our clients and ensuring that the children in their families are safe, happy, and well cared for.
By focusing only on family law, we can give you the niche expertise that you need for your child custody and parenting time case. No other area firm can provide the level of reliable legal counsel that our team at Woody Law Firm, LLC can.
The law states that both of a child’s parents should contribute equally to the child’s upbringing and care. When parents are married or live together, this is often the natural order of things. However, if a child’s parents are divorced, separated, or not involved with one another, equal contribution becomes more difficult.
Child custody and parenting time arrangements are legal contracts that outline the amount of time that each parent will care for their child. These agreements vary greatly depending on the circumstances of the family at hand.
Because these arrangements are legally binding, parents can better enforce them. If one parent is supposed to care for a child and regularly doesn’t do so, the custodial parent can bring them to court to fix the issue. These agreements hold both parents accountable and ensure that parents are contributing to their child’s well-being.
Child custody arrangements deal with a child’s living situation. Custodial parents offer regular, permanent care to their children. Though they may not have the children with them all of the time, they have a regular and ongoing responsibility to provide long-term housing when the children are in their custody.
Custody can be arranged several ways, including, but not limited to:
Full custody: One parent is responsible for the child all of the time. There is no legal precedent for the child to live with their other parent. These arrangements often come with a child support agreement.
Partial custody: Both parents are regularly responsible for the child’s living situation. The child goes back and forth between the two parents. Some common schedules include one week with one parent and one with the other, weekdays with one parent and weekends and holidays with the other, etc.
Under the custody umbrella, there is legal custody and physical custody. Physical custody refers to the physical care and guardianship of the child. Legal custody is different. Legal custody gives the parent the right to make decisions about the child’s well-being and lifestyle in the long term. For example, legal custody allows the parent to make medical decisions for the child.
Legal custody can be split just as physical custody can. Both parents may share legal custody, and this arrangement often occurs when they share physical custody as well. However, it’s possible to share physical custody but not legal custody. In some situations, only one parent has legal custody of their child. Therefore, it’s possible to have physical custody without having legal custody. It’s rare to have legal custody without physical custody, but it can happen.
In some scenarios, a parent is not fit for custody of their children. This can happen for many reasons, including:
These scenarios simply indicate that one parent is not capable of properly maintaining ongoing custody at the present time and are not necessarily qualifying judgments on the love or devotion of the parent to the child.
For these situations, parenting time is a viable option. Whether a parent is unable, unwilling, or uninterested in having any kind of custody of their children, they may be granted parenting time. Parenting time is sometimes referred to as “visitation.”
In these scenarios, the noncustodial parent has the right to see their children. They may even house the children overnight on a regular basis. Parenting time is more limited than custody; taking care of the child every other weekend is a good example of a parenting time arrangement. In these situations, the parent does not usually have legal custody of their child.
It’s important to understand that modifications can be made to your child custody agreements; they do not need to be permanent. If something significant changes, the court may agree to make changes to your custody arrangement. For example, if a parent is unable to have custody because of an alcohol problem, they may seek a modification after going to rehabilitation and making progress with their sobriety. Similarly, if a parent moves or gets a new job, their custody may be reduced if the change is drastic enough.
Our firm has decades of combined experience in the family law sector. We are poised to help your family create a new arrangement that works for all involved while supporting the health and wellness of your children. Though the process may be difficult, many families find peace in the end result.
For more information on how we can help you, contact us online today.