Child custody is a completely new arena for most divorced parents. They aren’t familiar with the proceedings, the expectations, or anything else that goes along with child custody. Because of this, divorced parents should always be looking for information that can help them.
One of the first things a parent has to learn in child custody are the terms and the vocabulary. There are many phrases used in custody that a parent has to know about and comprehend. To help those who are just starting out in custody, here are some of the frequently used words and phrases and their meanings.
1. Child custody agreement or parenting plan. This is the document that parents create that outlines their parenting arrangement. In the agreement you have the type of custody the parents have and the schedule of custody and visitation. There is also a schedule of the holidays and where the children will spend them. There will also be child support information and any other provisions that are important to the parents.
2. Physical and legal joint custody. Joint custody is when the parents share responsibilities and duties regarding their children. Legal custody is sharing the big decisions and physical custody is sharing the duty of providing a home and spending time with the children. The alternative is sole custody–where one parent has the majority of responsibility over the children and the other parent has less responsibility.
3. Child custody forms and filing for child custody. You fill out papers concerning child custody and then you file them with the court–the same court where you file for divorce. You have to fill out papers to get the custody case started and so a judge will decide on your case.
4. Custody mediation. Divorced parents sometimes use mediation to help them resolve their custody disputes. In mediation the parents meet with a third party and come up with their parenting plan. Then they can give the plan to the court.
5. Custody court and custody order. This is also called family court. This is where you file your custody papers and also where your custody agreement becomes a court order. The judge will adopt the agreement (if both parents agree) into a legal document. If the parents don’t agree on a plan, they present their cases before the judge and then the judge determines the custody order.
Contact Anton Legal Group today if you need a family lawyer in Tampa.