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16 Apr. 2013

What You Need to Know About Custody of Your Children, Part I

Posted By The Buncher Law Corporation

Children should – and do – take precedence in any dissolution case. When custody is involved, other issues generally take a backseat until the parties can figure out how their kids are going to be cared for. In my opinion, judges often take a similar approach.

While each case is different, there are a few constants: parents want their children to be healthy and happy, and they generally want to have as much parenting time as possible. In some cases, issues of custody and visitation quickly and easily resolve. The parties discuss and implement a parenting plan, and they decide to work together to restructure their family dynamic in a way that makes sense. In others, issues of time-share and decision-making present thorny issues that require court intervention.

In considering custody of your children, there are two important concepts to understand: Legal Custody and Physical Custody.

When parties agree as to custody, that agreement can be memorialized and submitted to the court. Once the court approves the agreement, the parenting schedule becomes a binding court order. It can continuously be modified by either party if there has been a substantial change of circumstance (i.e., a parent moves, a child changes schools, etc.). It is not uncommon for parties to make alterations to the custody schedule after their case concludes, as facts and circumstances always change. These agreements or adjustments to the schedule should always be memorialized and submitted to the court.

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