For centuries, most people have been struggling to attain custody rights especially when the relationship/marriage breaks down. Getting legal advice from a child custody expert is essential in order to protect your rights as a guardian. Custody laws refer to state statutes, and every state has its different law. Normally, custody cases are very complicated, and it is crucial to find an experienced lawyer who has dealt with these types of cases.
Where can someone file for child custody? (Which states have jurisdiction?)
In many cases and in a majority of the states, you can file for child custody in the child’s home state. The term home state refers to the state where the child was born in or has lived in with the parents for the past six successive months. Always note that brief absence from the home state does not affect the six-month rule. In case the child is six months or under, the home state is always considered the state where the child has lived since birth.
Granted that you and the child have moved to another new state, it may not be possible for you to file for custody in that new state unless you have been there for relatively six months. Additionally, if there exists a previous court order for custody, then you have to file the custody case in that exact court for all your future custody battles. This should be one of the reasons that it is highly recommended to seek legal child custody advice.
If multiple states are involved in the child custody case, then it can get even more complicated. It means that both the state and federal statutes will decide which court will handle your case. It largely depends on which state you are filling from especially if you are trying to get temporary custody for an emergency situation.
How does the judge make decisions about child custody cases?
Mainly, every judge makes their decision based on what they think is in the child’s best interest. Different states have different guidelines and principles as to what influences the judges’ decision when it comes to child custody cases. Some of the aspects that are put into consideration in most states when determining the child’s best interest:
2. The mental and physical state of both the parents involved
3. The child’s preference and inclination but only if 13 years and above
4. Parenting history especially if there are any violence tendencies
5. How the child relates to the surrounding environment (School, home, etc.)
6. Expert advises/ witness testimonies
7. Relationship between the child and both parents
8. The environment that each parent can provide (stable growing environment and financial ability)
There are advantages and benefits associated with custody cases. There are numerous reasons why some parents opt not to file for custody.
This is mainly because they do not want the courts to be involved. Always make sure that the first thing you do is sought legal advice concerning child custody from experts before making any decisions that affect the ones you love.