When parents who have a child or more are separated or divorced, some issues arise. The first one is, who will get custody of the child or children?
Custody of a child is a legal term used to train the relationship that the minor or minors have with the parents. A determination of the custody of a child is that it would resolve issues such as which parent the child or children would spend most of the time with or whether the parents would equitably share their time with the child or children. Also, a determination of the child’s custody may have an impact on the child’s financial livelihood and a determination of who will be the payer and who the recipient will be.
Some of the issues that a parent may face regarding custody of a child are as follows.
Courts will often use the term “best interests of the child” to determine as to custody of the child. Most states have a list of factors that they use as a guide to determine child custody. Although the court will consider all of the factors in a determination about the child’s custody, some factors will outweigh others.
Most parents can decide for themselves how custody of the child or children will be without the need for a judge to decide the matter of child custody. However, some parents are unreasonable and unable to cooperate in reaching an agreement regarding custody of the child or children. It is at this point, where the parties will have to be involved in either mediation or litigation to resolve the custody dispute of the child. When parents become involved in litigation, the relationship between parents can become very hostile. The mentality that some parents take is to win at any cost. Some of the allegations that are made in court submissions are about sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, alienation of affection by the other parent, etc. The child custody attorneys of SRIS, PC will always advise their clients to take the “road” in a custody battle. The reason why we advise our clients to take the approach of the “highway” in a custody battle is for two reasons:
1) the truth is finally made public, and the judges who have been hearing cases of child custody are not pleased when parents make false allegations;
2) although it is very important that you do not allow false allegations to be unquestionable, battles of custody of the child can be very expensive. If both parties are involved in making speculative claims, this will only raise the cost of litigation.
When the dispute over custody of the child arises, it is not uncommon for one of the parents to try to get involved in a forum of convenience for the purpose of obtaining unfair treatment against the other party. Convenience forum is looking for a state or country that may have more favorable laws towards one of the parents regarding custody. Many countries have become part of the Hague Convention to prevent the forum of convenience between countries. Additionally, in the United States, a law called the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction, and the Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) was enacted and adopted by each state of the Union to prevent the forum of convenience in cases of child custody. The essence of this law is to require all states that differ from the jurisdiction of the child’s state of residence or minors. The child custody attorneys of SRIS, PC has successfully represented many clients who have to deal with the other parent trying to get involved in the convenience forum. It is very important to hire the services of an excellent custody lawyer when faced with a matter of convenience forum. The statutory designation of “state of residence” (“home state”) lasts only for a certain period.