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Child Custody State Laws - What You Should Know

February 10, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 170

Divorce can be a messy process, hurt feelings getting brought up, valuable possessions being argued over, and children caught in the middle. In the United States, child custody is taken seriously. The best interests of the child must always be kept at heart and put above all else. Child custody State laws in United States ensure that the correct parent is chosen to care and raise the child and protect custodial and non-custodial parents. Above all, the care and protection of the child is put first, and United States laws are strictly enforced to make sure every child is properly placed.

Arrangement for custody can be decided by the parents or not, though most reach a mutual consensus after litigation. Whether it is for sole custody or joint legal custody, the decision reached must be approved by the court before any finalization. Sole custody gives a parent the right to make decisions on behalf of the child; joint legal custody splits this right between both parents. Issues such as schooling, religion, extra-curricular activities, medical treatment and councilors are within rights of the parent with custody to choose for the child.

There are numerous factors that go into determining custody of a child. If a parent works long hours or if there are violence charges against the parents are what judges will take into consideration when choosing a suitable custodial parent. The chosen parent has an obligation to ensure the child's health, education, and support, failure to uphold any of these are grounds to remove the child from custody, though non-custodial parents are also partially responsible for the child's care as well, paying a percentage of their income in child support. A judge can remove a child from one parent's care and place them in the custody of the other depending on whether any of the obligations are fulfilled or not.

Child custody state laws may also come into play with couples that are still married, but choose to live separate, possibly just before a divorce. The laws and obligations are the same, though several more factors are taken into consideration. Parents may share custody of the child, but in separate residences the quality of the home is checked, and the mental and physical health of both parents is evaluated as well.

Child custody State laws in United States is best summarized in the phrase, "In the best interests of the child" and there are no corners cut when it comes to a child's welfare.

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Malcolm Louis T. Author and Webmaster of

Source: EzineArticles
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Custody State Laws

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