Family & Relationships Marriage & Divorce

Child Custody - Avoiding a Battle

Before going into a child custody battle you need to at least know the differences between different types of custody.
The simplest type of custody is physical custody, which means that parent has the right for the child to live with them.
Sometimes both parents will be awarded joint-physical custody, especially when the parents live near each other.
If the parents live further apart, the parent the child lives with will have physical custody, with the other parent with visitation rights.
Legal custody is slightly different; it refers to the responsibility to care for and bring up a child.
Parents with legal custody makes medical decisions, decides where the child will go to school, and what religion they will follow.
Joint custody is very common.
If you do have joint custody, your ex-spouse can take you to court if you do not allow them to be part of the child's life.
The court can enforce custody agreements, although they cannot fine or imprison you.
You can ask your Denver divorce lawyer to argue for single custody, but you will have to convince the court that it is not in the child's interest to live with the other parent.
Custody for just one parent is called sole custody.
If the other parent is incompetent this is how the court is likely to rule.
The courts have been trying to encourage participation by the other party in the child's life by limiting sole custody rulings.
The court can award sole physical custody and joint legal custody.
The other parent can still visit often in most Denver child custody battles.
Unless you really think your spouse is unfit, do not try and get sole custody because it can be hard on the child.
Joint custody is when the parents share both the decisions and the physical location of the children.
Parents often decide on a schedule of visitation or shared housing arrangements.
Try to agree, because if you cannot, a Denver family lawyer and the court will get involved to decide on the schedule for you.
Joint custody is good for children because it allows the children see both parents, and both parents get to influence the child.
It can be stressful because the child has to be moved around, and if the parents are not amicable, the child has to be witness to all the bickering.
It can be more expensive to maintain two homes children can live in.
Your ex-spouse might challenge that you are not paying equally, so keep a record of all expenses.

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