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When parents can't reach custody agreement courts will intervene

Posted on behalf of Thomas Pettinicchi of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Dec 11, 2014 in Child Custody

Child custody matters can impact parents not only in the case of divorce but when the couple is unmarried as well. While in the latter situation paternity may first need to be established, from that point on the process will more or less be the same in either situation.

When possible, parents may work together to create a parenting plan that among other things, addresses custody and visitation. In the course of hashing out this plan parents may deal with a variety of subjects pertaining to the children including:

  • The religion the child will be brought up in.
  • Who will make decisions regarding the education of the child.
  • Who will be responsible for health care decisions.
  • Who will have primary custody.
  • A plan for the other parent's visitation.

When this approach works it is usually the best way to go since it allows for a great deal of flexibility. Unfortunately it does not always work and decisions regarding custody and visitation will be left to the court. In addition to the lack of flexibility connected to this option, in these situations the judge making the determinations usually knows very little about the lives of all involved. He or she will use the information provided to decide what he or she thinks is in the best interest of the child. While a judge will do his or her best, the final decision may leave all parties involved unhappy with the outcome.

Regardless of the method utilized to determine child custody matters each side should take steps to make sure that their interests are protected. In most situations this involves engaging the assistance of a lawyer who handles child custody matters.

Source: FindLaw, "Child Visitation, Child Custody and Unmarried Fathers," Accessed Dec. 11, 2014