Going through the process of child custody can be overwhelming to many parents. There is a lot of new information that the parents need to learn about custody laws, setting up parenting plans and agreements, handling a custody case, etc. Fortunately, there are many resources that parents can use to get help for their custody case. The following are some of the most often asked questions about child custody issues.
1. How do I start a custody case?
To get the custody process started, one of the parents files for child custody. To do this, the parent simply fills out the proper forms and files them at the courthouse. The other parent will then receive the papers and fill out some different forms. The case is then opened up. You may then get a court day, or you may need to fill out additional forms.
2. How long will the case last?
The length of the custody case depends on how well the parents get along and how quickly they agree on a parenting plan. Some custody cases are resolved quickly because the parents work together on a custody agreement, and the court accepts it. Others drag on for a while because the parents don't agree, and they need to appear in court several times to get a parenting plan.
3. Does a custody case always go to court?
The parents always need to file the proper papers in court, but they may not need to present a case to the court. If the parents agree, they simply show up in court with the plan they agree on, and the court will accept it. The parents will need to present information to the judge if they don't agree the court will make the final decision about the child custody arrangements.
4. What happens in custody court?
Parents need to file their papers at the courthouse, and they also need to present their custody agreement before the judge. If when the parents are unable to reach an agreement, they would both put their sides of the case before a judge, and the court will make the final decision. When a court accepts an agreement, it constitutes a custody order; then the parents are legally compelled to meet the terms and conditions it contains.
5. Do I need a lawyer for my case?
This depends on the circumstances. If you and the other parent basically get along and can work out a custody agreement, you are probably fine just doing it yourself. However, you might need a lawyer to file paperwork and obtain the judgment. If there is a custody battle and the other parent has hired an attorney and won't make any compromises, you should hire an attorney and prepare for court.
6. What is a custody agreement?
The custody agreement, or parenting plan, is the document that contains all of the information about the child custody and visitation schedule, the holiday schedule, the time-share percentages of the parents, and any other information the parents want to include about custody. This becomes the custody order, and the parents have to follow it.
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