When parents divorce, the Court determines who gets custody of their children based on their children’s best interests. This decision is influenced by many factors such as the child’s relationship with both parents, their health and safety needs, the mental and physical abilities of the children and each parent’s ability to cooperate in meeting those needs.
Custody can be awarded to one or both parents on an issue-by-issue basis, and in some cases, it can be shared. Joint custody means that both parents have the same rights in making decisions about their children’s upbringing.
Legal Custody: Sole or Joint
Legal custody allows a parent to make decisions about their child’s education, medical care and religious upbringing. The non-custodial parent also has the right to receive information about the child’s educational or medical care.
Sole custody typically is granted in situations where a parent is found unfit, such as neglect, drug or alcohol abuse, child or spousal abuse, or a history of domestic violence. Sole custody is generally not preferred, but it can be an option in some cases if the Court finds that this is in the child’s best interest.
Shared Custody: Sole or Joint
The Court may award joint custody where both parents can meet the child’s needs, and both can properly perform their duties as parents. This arrangement can be a win-win situation for everyone involved, especially if the parents have a good working relationship and able to communicate their views to one another.
There are many factors that the Court considers when making a custody decision. The most important is the best interests of the child. In addition, the Court can weigh whether it is in the child’s best interests for both parents to be present at all times with their child or for one parent to have sole custody.
If the Court decides to award joint custody, it is up to the parents to negotiate and reach an agreement about major decisions related to their child’s life. This can be a difficult and stressful process, but it is often worth the effort to try.
In some circumstances, the Court may grant ultimate decision-making authority, which is typically only awarded in extreme situations. This can occur when the parent is uncooperative, refuses to agree just for the sake of disagreement, is obstreperous or exercises poor judgment concerning the child.
This type of parenting arrangement requires the parties to confer an attempt to agree on major decisions, but if they cannot reach an agreement, the person with the ultimate decision-making authority will be allowed to make the decision without consulting with the other parent. This is a highly controversial issue and is not always the most preferred option in child custody cases.
The allocation of parental responsibility can be a complicated and confusing matter, so it is important to consult with an experienced family law attorney in Miami. They will be able to help you understand your rights and obligations, and how to obtain the best results possible for you and your family.