In a divorce, the parties need to be aware of how custody cases are resolved. By being familiar with the process and the range of possibilities, parties can better prepare to deal with their custody issues as they arise.
There are two main ways that a custody matter will be resolved. The first, and generally most preferable way, is for the two parties to reach an agreement as to their custody rights. If the parties are either unwilling to negotiate or cannot reach an agreement, a court will be called upon to decide the matter. In these cases, the judge’s ruling becomes the custody order.
There are other situations that may involve custody issues. For example, unmarried parents might have a custody dispute that needs to be resolved. Usually, the presumption is that the mother will be awarded custody if the parents are not married. However, the father also has legal rights to see the child and can petition the court for custody.
There may also be other issues to consider if a third party petitions the court for custody of the child. In some cases, it may be the grandparents who are seeking custody, and there will be some different procedures for the court to follow.
Those who are either going through a divorce or have another custody issue that needs to be addressed may benefit from a consultation with a family law attorney. The family court system has its own specific rules and considerations with which many people may not be familiar. An attorney might give advice on how to handle the situation or assist with negotiations for a child custody agreement. If the case requires a judge’s ruling, the attorney may present the case to the court.