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Child custody issues can involve a number of complex legal and case specific factors. Child custody issues are a major component of divorce proceedings when children are involved in the dissolution of a marriage. It is estimated that at least one million children are involved in child custody issues in divorce cases every year in the United States. When a family law court deliberates on child custody issues, they will always judge in the best interests of the children involved.
The settlement of child custody issues can result in sole custody to one parent or other guardian, or joint custody. Seventy percent of child custody legal cases award primary custody to the mother of the children. In two out of three cases, joint custody is awarded. With joint custody, both parents play an integral part in caring for the child. Less than ten percent of child custody issues result in primary paternal custody. In other cases, child custody issues are settled by granting a non-parental guardian primary custody of the children. A non-parental guardian may be a grand parent or other close family relative.
Child custody issues determine who will have legal and physical custody of the children. Child support arrangements may also be made in cases involving child custody issues. Legal custody is the right and responsibility to make the major decisions that will affect the child's life. These major decisions can include those made about education, extra curricular activities, day care, health care, emergency care, religion, and much more.
Physical custody is another major component of child custody issues. Physical custody indicates who the child will live and spend their time with. Physical custody entails who the child will live with, spend weekends, summers, holidays, and other times with, and which parent will be in charge of activities. Physical custody can be awarded solely to one parent, with or without visitation rights for the non-custodial parent. Physical custody can also be shared between two parents.
Child support is another major consideration of child custody issues. When one parent is awarded primary or sole custody of the child, the other parent may be required by law to pay child support. The amount of child support that one parent will be responsible for providing is determined by many factors. Some of these child custody issues include each parent's actual or potential earning power, how many children are involved, tax filing status, expenses related to the child, and a number of other factors. In cases of joint child custody issues, the court may still order child support payments if it serves the best interest of the children.
Child custody issues can be worked out between two parents with the help of a mediator, or family law professional. Child custody issues will ultimately be resolved by a family law judge who will finalize custody arrangements and has the authority to change the terms at will.
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More information on custody:
Child custody rights may be shared by both parents or, primary child custody rights may be awarded to one parent or legal guardian. Since the 1970s the family court will award child custody rights contingent with the best interests of the child.
Child custody for fathers following a divorce is one of the most important aspects of a dissolving marriage. Throughout history the legal presumptions about child custody for fathers has changed significantly. Before the twentieth century children were regarded as the property of their father. Under common law, child custody for fathers was commonly awarded, as children were considered a father's rightful property. A major shift occurred after this period in history, as family courts came to favor mothers in child custody cases. It was presumed that under normal circumstances, children did better when placed in the sole custody of their mothers.