When parents in Hays have a dispute over the custody of a minor child, state law will ultimately settle these issues. Custody disputes can happen during the course of divorce proceedings, but they also take place between unmarried parents.
If you are facing a custody dispute, it is important to speak to an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible. The right legal counsel could help you protect your rights and secure your relationship with your minor child. Let a Hays child custody lawyer assist you throughout this important process.
The Two Types of Custody
It is helpful to go into custody disputes with the understanding of how Kansas state law applies to the issue. In Hays, there are two different types of custody the court can award. They are known as legal custody and residency.
Legal custody describes the right to make vital decisions in a child’s life. Some examples of the rights that come with legal custody include the right to make educational, religious, and healthcare decisions on the child’s behalf.
As the name suggests, residency rights relate to where a minor child lives. A parent that is awarded residency of a minor child provides that child with their primary residence. Often, joint residency is awarded that allows the child to split time between parents.
Preferences Under the Law
Judges that handle child custody cases prefer that the parents of a minor child come to a custody arrangement that is agreeable to both parties. While the court must approve these agreements, they typically do so if both parents are on the same page.
When a mutual agreement is not possible, the court will decide the custody arrangement. A judge makes this determination with one thing in mind: the best interest of the minor child. The judge is not bound by the preferences of either parent and is actually required to award custody based on the child’s best interest.
While the child’s best interest is paramount, the law prefers that custody is awarded jointly to both parents when possible. While this is the default custody situation, either parent could make the case that joint custody is not in the child’s best interest. A skilled Hays child custody attorney could pursue sole custody on a parent’s behalf.
What Qualifies as the “Best Interest of the Child?”
The process of determining a child’s best interests is not entirely subjective. The law sets out certain factors the judge should consider when making this determination. While a judge has discretion when it comes to awarding custody, the law requires consideration of a number of relevant factors. Some of these factors include:
- The age of the child
- The child’s needs
- The involvement of each parent
- The parents’ desire for custody
- Signs of domestic violence
- The child’s school schedule
- The relationship between parents and child
The question of a child’s best interest is a common dispute in child custody hearings. By working with a well-practiced child custody attorney, a parent in Hays could secure the outcome they desire.
Call a Hays Child Custody Attorney Right Away
You do not have to face child custody disputes on your own. Having an attorney by your side could improve your chances of success and provide you with peace of mind knowing you are doing everything you can for your child.
Let a Hays child custody lawyer advocate for you. Reach out right away for a confidential consultation with a dedicated legal professional.