Looking for a Custody Lawyer or Attorney?
Definitions on the web:
Child Custody is a court's determination of which parent or relative should have physical and/or legal control and responsibility for a minor (child) under 18. However, child custody also can come up if a child, relative, close friend or state agency questions whether one or both parents is unfit, absent, dead, in prison, or dangerous to the child's well-being. In such cases custody can be awarded to a grandparent or other relative, a foster parent, or an orphanage or other organization or institution. While a divorce is pending the court may grant temporary custody to one of the parents, require conferences or investigation (in some states, if the parents cannot agree, custody is automatically referred to a mediator, commissioner, or social worker) before making a final ruling.
There is a difference between physical custody which designates where the child will actually live and legal custody which gives the custodial parent(s) the right to make decisions for the child's welfare. If the parents agree, the court can award joint custody, physical and/or legal. Joint legal custody is becoming increasingly common.
The basic consideration on custody matters is supposed to be the best interests of the child or children. In most cases the non-custodial parent is given visitation rights, which may include weekends, parts of vacations and other occasions. The court can always change custody if circumstances warrant.
Child custody lawyers usually work in family law and are also familiar with divorce actions. A child custody lawyer can help someone gain custody of minor children regardless of the marital status of the parents. Those who have custody issues regarding their minor children can use a child custody lawyer to help them as well as their children. In some cases, child custody lawyers will actually represent the children in a divorce or custody matter and are usually thus appointed by the court to look after what is best for the minor children.
Family law is an area of the law that deals with family-related issues and domestic relations including:
the nature of marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships;
issues arising throughout marriage, including spousal abuse, legitimacy, adoption, surrogacy, child abuse, and child abduction
the termination of the relationship and ancillary matters including divorce, annulment, property settlements, alimony, and parental responsibility orders (in the United States, child custody and visitation, child support and alimony awards).
This list is by no means dispositive of the potential issues that come through the family court system. In many jurisdictions in the United States, the family courts see the most crowded dockets. Litigants representative of all social and economic classes are parties within the system.