Child custody law explained

Child custody is a legal registration of the relationship in which an adult holds account for the wellbeing of a minor (typically under the age of 18 years) or an adult with mental or physical disabilities. Custody is most often formalized when child is deprived of the parents; when parents leave them to their own devices; when they do not receive normal care; when they become a victim of ill-treatment or abuse from parents.

What are the responsibilities of a foster parent?

A foster parent should monitor the general welfare of the child, satisfy their personal needs – such as education, health care, normal living conditions. In some cases, the foster parent may also be responsible for the child’s financial allocations, although often it will be done by another person, a court-appointed executor.

What is the difference between child custody and adoption?

Adoption changes the relationship between adults and child. Adult adopters officially become adoptive parents. As for birth parents, they lose their parental rights and obligations to the child, including financial responsibility to them. In this regard, for example, if a biological parent dies without leaving a will, the adoptee has no right to inheritance. Although child custody also establishes a legal relationship between a child and an adult, it is, nevertheless, does not interrupt the previous legal relationship between the child and parents. For example, the biological parent is still obliged to provide financial support for the child, and if a parent dies without a will, the child retains the right to inheritance.

Child custody does not interrupt the previous legal relationship between the child and parents.

Child custody does not interrupt the previous legal relationship between the child and parents.

Can a person, whom the child’s biological parents are against, be appointed as a foster parent?

It depends on the judge’s decision. It all starts with the filing of suit to the court by the alleged foster parent. Then the representative of the court will hold a conversation with him, with the child and parents and present the recommendations to the judge. Child’s custody is usually not assigned, if biological parents do not consent or if the judge deems that the legal custody will affect the child and parents adversely. At the same time, a foster parent will possess perfect child custody rights if the parents gave up the child.

Is custody should be formalized, if the child is living with someone who is not his parent?

If the child lives with you for a few weeks or months, it is not necessary to establish custody. But if you anticipate that you will have to look after the child for a long period, for example, a few years, then you should think about custody. Without this, it may be difficult to send a child to school, provide them with medical care or get for them special benefits. In addition, you will have no further rights to care for the child if the parents are suddenly will claim their parental right, even if they are not able to take proper care of the child.

In what cases child’s custody is not required?

Let us assume that the child is living with you permanently. However, you can have a good reason not to register custody. For example, parents can be against. In addition, you can be not glad with the prospect of the consideration of your candidacy in court. Finally, the custody may in some circumstances (for example, when the child’s mother lives with another husband) lead to serious disputes, i.e. where the child should belong. In this regard, many adults raising children try to avoid the registration of custody through the courts.

When is the deadline for the  child custody?

In most cases the deadline is the time when the child comes of legal age. But the judge can determine that child custody is no longer necessary. Rare cases are when the custody was registered solely for the distribution of the child’s finances and there are no funds for the child’s support anymore. The deadline also comes when when the child dies. It should be borne in mind that, even if the custory remains in effect, the foster parent has the right to abandon the role by legal means. In this case, the court will appoint a new foster parent.

Who supports the child financially during the period of custody?

The biological parents of the child (except in the case when the court will deprive them of their parental rights, which is unlikely) must be responsible for it. But in fact, it often turns out that the material welfare of the child comes upon the foster parents. For example, it is them who in some cases seek for social assistance and other benefits on behalf of the child. By the way, all funds received for the child should be spent only for the child’s needs. The more the amount of these funds, the greater the possibility that the judge will require to present a periodic report on their spending.

Child custody

The types of custody

Child custody is a form of a guardianship of a child under 18 years old. The custody becomes the most important matter during the divorce trials if the couple has children. The custody is divided into physical or legal. Physical custody means providing the child with everything necessary for him or her, for example the housing, financial security, education, fulfilling the child’s needs. Legal custody is about the right of a parent to make decisions concerning the child, such as medical treatment, religion and insurance. When one parent receives a primary custody, his or her ex-spouse usually gets visitation rights. In some cases the parent may be forbidden to visit a child.

The primary custodians

The right of being a privileged custodian was traditionally given to a mother. However today the views on this subject have changed and the primary custody can be given a father, if the child’s mother is not able to provide a child with proper conditions.

Seeking a lawyer

Turning for help to the custody attorney during the divorce is necessary, as this is a specialist who will assist you in the issues of the custody. The specialists of such kind should have a developed understanding of the family law and know how to adjust to the different and unexpected situations.

Before a discussion of your case with a lawyer you have to decide what you expect from your ex-spouse. The family law has some certain flexibility and there are questions that must be discussed out of the trial. If you both find a way to come to conclusion, you will need to represent your resolution to the custody lawyer, so that your attorney can know what you expect him to do. Discuss with the lawyer all the details of your divorce. Do not forget to inform him about the things that might be used as evidence against you on trial.

What your lawyer might need

Bring with you the documentation of assets and birthrights, all of them might be in handy for giving child custody advice. In order to gain a particular advantage on court, you may try using evidence of your ex-spouse’s wrongdoings and/ or the negligence. Remember that the attorney’s task is to facilitate the trials as much as possible, so do not hesitate to as him or her questions if something stays unclear for you.

Where to find a lawyer

In case there is someone among your family or friends to lend you a helping hand in this issue, it is a good chance. Unless you have any one to recommend a legal aid divorce lawyer, you can keep searching on your own. It is a good idea to start with a Sate BAR where you will find all the necessary information concerning the lawyers and the cases. Using Google might be useful as many respectful family law firms upload information about their lawyers including their fees, experience and education.

There are some notes you should take into account while choosing an attorney. They include education, experience and the level of professionalism. Education goes without saying, as attorneys are obliged to have a law license. Experience plays a great role, especially the experience in the cases similar to yours.