One of the most important aspects of any divorce is the stabilization of the children. Divorce brings a lot of uncertainty and instability to the lives of the party and the lives of the children. It is important to get a custody order in place regarding the children as soon as possible in order to bring stability back to their lives and ensure that their transition is as smooth as possible.
A custody order will detailed the type of custody that the parties have such as joint custody, shared custody, or sole custody, as well as the visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent. It will also outline the rights and responsibilities as it relates to the parties so that each parent knows what it expected of them throughout the process and it will make it easier to co-parent effectively.
Joint Custody – This is the most common form of child custody. Under Joint Custody, one parent will have primary custody and the other parent will have secondary custody with reasonable visitation. This visitation typically consist of every other weekend, sometime during the summer, and alternating holidays; however, the parties are always free to agree on the schedule that works best for their family.
Shared Custody – Under shared custody, the parties have equal time with the child. This is a lot less common.
Sole Custody – When a parent is granted sole custody it means that the child will live with one parent and that same parent will have all of the decision making power. However, the other parent may still be allowed to have visitation depending on the facts and circumstances.
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