What is Custody Law?
Custody law is a subfield of family law that covers child custody matters. Each state may have different child custody laws, but they generally regulate matters such as:
- Which parent or parents may be granted custody
- Different types of custody available (joint custody, legal custody, alternating custody, and others)
- Obtaining or modifying a child custody order
- Intervention of state welfare officials
- Other related issues such as paternity, adoption, and grandparent’s rights
Custody law shares much overlap with many other areas of family law, in particular divorce law and child support law. In fact, child custody orders are sometimes a standard part of a divorce proceeding, and many child custody orders also include statements regarding child support.
What Other Types of Legal Issues are Covered Through Custody Law?
Child custody law mainly deals with the question of who will be responsible for the proper upbringing of a child. In addition to the issues matters listed above, child custody law can also involve other legal issues, including:
- Determination of regular child support (especially where only one parent has custody of the child)
- Child visitation schedules
- Protection of the child or children from instances of abuse, neglect, or exposure to domestic violence between spouses
- Rights of stepparents, grandparents, foster parents, and other familial relationships, especially with regards to temporary visitation rights
- Emancipation (release of the child from parental control once the child turns 18 years old)
Thus, custody law attorneys are generally well-versed in many other areas of law. They also understand the way that different legal issues interact with one another. For instance, they have an understanding how a parent’s rights are affected if they surrender custody to another person.
What if a Child Custody Law is Violated?
Child custody laws are treated very seriously and can be enforced quite strictly. Any type of court order that involves child custody is binding under law and needs to be followed by all the parties involved. One of the main concerns it that the safety and well-being of a child may be compromised if one of the parents disobeys the instructions of a custody order.
For instance, if one parent does not transfer custody of the child according to the court schedule, it is a serious situation that could lead to a contempt order or even criminal charges. In order to avoid such violations, the parties should request to modify a child custody order before introducing a different schedule or arrangement. This may require the assistance of a qualified lawyer.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Assistance With Custody Laws?
Every state has its own unique set of custody laws. Such differences can create challenges, especially if one parent lives in a different state. You may wish to hire an experienced lawyer in your area if you need help with custody laws and other types of family law issues. Your attorney can provide you with the type of legal assistance and representation that you need for your child’s upbringing.
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Last Modified: 07-16-2013 04:46 PM PDT
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