Posts Tagged ‘joint custody’

Can One Parent Deny The Other Parent Visitation?

Thursday, June 27th, 2019

If a parent is awarded sole custody, this, in turn, gives them absolute autonomy in the decision-making process (and the execution of those decisions). This is because a parent with sole custody has both legal custody and physical custody of the child/children. The legal custody aspect is what gives the parent the ability to make all of the impactful choices regarding your child, while they are still a minor, without needing to consult the other parent for their input. There is a multitude of reasons why only a single parent is given the ability to make these life decisions for the child, and some of them do revolve around the non-custodial parent’s decision-making abilities and history.

These same reasons could be utilized and highlighted by the custodial parent in their effort to deny visitation. For example, if the other parent has a history of alcohol abuse, and upon arriving to pick up the child for their visitation day, they appear intoxicated; the custodial parent would have a good reason not to let the child go with this parent. In such a scenario, it would be wise to document this, most efficiently through video, as the other parent may mention it in court in order to make a case that you are violating the visitation agreement.        

It is a wide-held belief by the courts that a child develops best when in regular contact with both parents, and so even with sole custody, it is rare that a parent and child never see each other. So, if you are planning on requesting to deny your the other parent visitation entirely, it will require very thorough documentation (as credible evidence), and a significant pattern. An isolated incident will probably not suffice, but repeated instances could. 

If Both Parents Have Joint Custody Of The Child, Who Pays For Child Support?

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

Many spouses think that if there is joint custody of a child, meaning both parents have physical and legal custody, that they should not have to pay child support, or rather, child support should not be ordered by the court. In fact, this is often a reason spouses will push for shared custody, thinking that it will alleviate them from having to potentially pay child support. This thinking is flawed because of the fact that joint legal custody doesn’t tend to impact child support; only physical custody affects this.

Moreover, joint physical custody does not negate the possibility or the obligation of paying child support. Even if the two parents evenly split the custody time, sooner or later one spouse will inevitably owe some child support. This is because of the fact that the two parents earn significant different amounts, and also spend different amounts of time with the child or children.

So if the custody is shared equally, why there is still a child support obligation? Because child support payment isn’t solely based on how much time each parent spends with the child; that is only one small part of the equation. When courts award child support payments, they are also considering the income of each parent. So, it usually turns out to be that the parent with the higher income will owe child support.

It can sometimes be forgotten that the true and only purpose for child support is to ensure that the child has the proper funds and will be taken care of adequately, and who the child stays with the majority of the time is irrelevant to this.

What Is The Difference Between Joint Custody And Sole Custody Of The Child?

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

In a previous blog, I discussed the difference between physical and legal custody, which differentiated between having the child live with you and having the right to make decisions for the child. In this article, we will be discussing the difference between sole custody and joint custody, both of which encompass the physical and legal custody of the child, or children, as well.

Sole Custody: One parent can have either sole physical custody, or can have sole legal custody of the children. This is not a popular outcome in most divorce cases, as it often alienates one parent from the child and prevents them from playing any role in the child’s life. Unfortunately, there are some cases where a parent will be awarded sole custody if the court deems the other parent unfit to take care of the child to any extent. Be it a drug or alcohol problem, or a history or tendency of being abusive or neglectful toward the child, there are some situations when a child needs to be kept away from one of their parents. But, as I said earlier, it isn’t as common for courts to award sole custody anymore. In fact, even if one parent is given sole physical custody, meaning the child mainly lives with them, both parents will often share joint legal custody, and moreover, the parent who isn’t given custody is allowed liberal visitation time.

In this scenario, the parents have an equal say in the decisions regarding the child, or children’s, life, but again, one parent is deemed to be the primary parental guardian that the child lives with.

There is no doubt that children do better with two parental figures in their life than one, so unless there is a real need to keep your ex-spouse away from the child, it’s best not to seek sole custody.

Joint Custody: When spouses who live together but share both the physical and executive custody of the child, it is known as joint custody. Joint custody doesn’t have to come after the parents get divorced; you can file for joint custody if you and your spouse are getting separated, or simply aren’t living together anymore. This is a much more common option that courts will exercise when deciding the living situation of the child. There is usually a schedule that is set up, along with housing accommodations that suit the child’s needs. Common arrangements are alternating months, six-month stays, sometimes even a year with one parent, it depends on what the parents decide.

And if the parents can’t come to an agreement, the court will decide for them. However, like everything in life, there are cons to joint custody. The child is moving around constantly, and there is a lack of a sense of a true “home,” and it can be expensive to have for both parents to maintain and own a home. The role of the parent here is to make the most of an unfortunate situation that the child never asked for in the first place.