In the last few months, there has been much discussion regarding the custody of children. Various state legislatures are revisiting the custody laws, in the context of recent research that states the fathers play an important role in emotional and physical well-being of children. As per the federal government, child custody is a legal term that describes the practical and legal relationship between children and their parents. This includes the decision making rights and powers of parents and also the duty of parents in providing care to children. However, as per the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, terms as access and custody have been replaced by contact and residence.
Factors the influence custody of a child
Issues related to contact and residence arises from the dissolution of marriage and other legal proceedings that involve children. The jurisdiction related to with whom or where the child will stay is based on the best interest of the children. This is decided on the basis of the wish of the child, the wish of the parents, relationship of children with parents, wish of children and a wish of other people who deal with the child and the effect of these on the best interest of children. The sibling of the children, their comfort level at home, community, school and physical health of the children and parents are also considered.
Types of custodies
As per the statutory provision parents would have joint guardianship on the child if they had children during their marriage. After separation, each parent has an equal right on the child. The parent who has the custody controls also has the control over the decisions regarding the education, health care and religious upbringing of the child. Temporary custody grants of the child is provided to individual during the divorce proceeding. There is also provision of exclusive custody of the child where only one parent gets the custody and the other parent is excluded.
Joint custody of the child
Under the ambit of the law, there are also other forms of custodies that are provided to the parents. In the non-custodial custody, parents have the right of supervision or visitation right in certain situations. In a joint custody, both the parents have equal right in deciding about the upbringing of the child. The court grants joint custody to parents, if both of them have the ability to perform their duties well. If a parent files a case for exclusive custody then, they have to refute the assumption that joint custody is not for the best benefit for children.
Involvement of third party
If required, the court can also award the custody of children to a third party. In these cases, any close relative or grandparents serve as a third party. If there are multiple children from the marriage then, the court has the right to separate or split the children between the custodians based on the best interest of each child. Generally, it will be beneficial for children to stay with their siblings especially for emotional support. Visitation right is yet another part of the custody law.
Visitation rights of parents
As per the court, now legal professionals are using the term parent scheduling rather than visitation and custody. When the court grants a parent exclusive custody then, the non-custodial parent has the right to visit the child. Though there are favorable assumptions for visitation right, but court often gas strict regulation regarding the same. If either of the parents convinces the court that the visitation right will be harmful to children, then court has the right to deny the rights of visitation. The denial of the visitation right is often common among the non-custodial parents who have emotionally or physically abuse a child or the condition of the parent is such that it will have an emotional effect on the child.