Child custody disputes are one of many matters that are likely to end up in family court. When parents cannot come to terms regarding child custody or visitation, the courts are required to intervene. Custody disputes may be part of a divorce case or involve two unmarried parents. A dedicated family law attorney could be able to assist co-parents through the steps of the child custody dispute process.
If you are facing a child custody dispute, you are entitled to seek legal representation. Your attorney could play an important role in securing your rights as a parent. A dedicated Junction City child custody lawyer could assist you with pursuing your case in family court and seeking the best possible outcome for you and your child.
As is the case in every state, a judge will determine the custody and visitation schedule according to the child’s best interest. This guiding principle is set out in Kansas Statute Annotated § 23-3201. While the court maintains the final say on these issues, state law also prefers that the parents come to an agreement regarding custody and visitation whenever possible.
Judges will typically push parents to work out a parenting plan that determines where the child will live, who will meet their daily needs, and when they will spend time with each parent. The document that lays out these decisions is known as a permanent parenting plan.
While the courts prefer permanent parenting plans, they are not bound to any agreement made by the parents. Since the court has a duty to act in the child’s best interest, a judge could reject some or all of these parenting plans and make their own determination on what is best for the child. An attorney experienced in Junction City child custody cases could help parents craft a parenting plan that is ready for the approval of a judge.
There are two different types of custody the court must decide on in each case: residency and legal custody. Residency refers to which parent the child will primarily live with. Legal custody involves the right to make vital legal decisions on the child’s behalf. These decisions include issues like school choice, religious upbringing, and medical care.
The court has many options when determining residency and legal custody. For instance, the court could award residency to one parent while giving both parents legal custody. Sole and joint custody are the two types of custody that a judge can award to one or both parents.
Sole custody means a single parent has exclusive rights to the child. Sole residency means the child would spend all of their time living with that parent. Sole legal custody would give a single parent the right to make all decisions regarding the upbringing of the child.
On the other hand, joint custody requires the parent to share these rights. Joint legal custody would give both parents a say in how the child is raised. Likewise, joint residency would mean a child spends some time at the homes of both parents.
A well-versed child custody attorney in Junction City could assist parents in securing the custody type that is best for their child.
It is understandable if concerns about the right to parent your child are at the forefront of your mind. Child custody disputes can be stressful and often take time to resolve fully.
A Junction City child custody lawyer could support you during this process while giving the legal guidance you need to advocate in the best interest of your child. Call today to see what a dedicated attorney can do for you.