Developing a child custody plan that is in the child's best interest is of utmost importance, but before parents begin negotiating custody it is helpful for them to understand what that means, how it is determined and how the child custody process works, generally.
The family law process is designed to help families going through a divorce promote the interests of their family when determining the best child custody and visitation agreement for them. The focus is always on what is in the best interests of the child and the family law process considers a variety of factors to determine that and is always available to help families reach child custody arrangements.
There are two primary types of child custody: legal custody of the children and physical custody of the children. Both types of custody can be joint custody or sole custody. When legal custody is shared, both parents are responsible for making important decisions for the child, including related to the child's medical care, schooling and religious upbringing, and must work together. In some circumstances, one parent has legal custody of the child. When one parent has sole physical custody, the other will typically enjoy a visitation arrangement with the child. If the parents share joint physical custody, their child custody agreement will help address the specifics of how that is managed.
Divorce can be difficult for families, which is why the family law process provides resources to help guide families through the emotionally challenging time period. With the help of family law resources, it is hoped that families are able to reach child custody arrangements that are best for them and in the best interests of their children.