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Child Custody and Visitation: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the difference between legal and physical custody?

A: Physical custody refers to where the child lives and who has responsibilities associated with daily care of the child. Legal custody is the responsibility for making decisions regarding the education, healthcare and religious upbringing of a child.

Q: When parents fight over custody, how does the court decide?

A: The typical standard is the “interests of the child.” Each state has specific guidelines, but the court usually takes into consideration what each parent wants, what the child wants (if the child is old enough and/or mature enough), which parent has been the primary caretaker, the parenting abilities of each parent and whether there is a history of abuse.

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More than 1 million children experience divorce each year in the US. If you have questions about child custody and visitation, contact our firm to schedule a consultation with an experienced family law attorney.

Issues involving children can complicate a divorce and turn a peaceful process into a contentious fight. At the Law Offices of Mark Abzug, P.A., in Coral Springs, Florida, our lawyers share the court’s focus of the best interests of the children. Mediation is desired to protect your children, but we will represent you in court if you are unable to resolve child custody and visitation disputes amicably. Your attorney from our firm will aggressively protect your rights and thoroughly communicate how the law applies to your case. There is more information on child custody and visitation listed below. To learn more about your case, contact us to schedule an appointment with an experienced lawyer.

Child Custody and Visitation – An Overview

The resolution of child custody and visitation disputes requires divorcing parents to act rationally in their child’s best interests at a time when they are facing the overwhelming stress of divorce. Joint custody and sole custody, legal custody and physical custody, custody evaluations and modifications are terms with which a divorcing parent will become familiar.

Knowledgeable advice and skilled representation from an experienced family law attorney at Mark Abzug, P.A. in Coral Springs, FL, can assist you in your pursuit of a fair custody arrangement.

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Creating Parenting Plans that Work

A parenting plan is an agreement that outlines a child custody arrangement. It takes into account arrangements such as who has the children on which days, who makes major decisions about matters such as the children’s education and health, and what to do if any parent’s situation significantly changes. Parents who agree on a parenting plan rather than let the court decide are often more likely to comply with custody arrangements.

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Divorce Education

The ongoing health and mental well-being of children during divorce often depends upon how their parents interact following the decision to end the marriage. An experienced family law attorney can inform, guide and support you throughout the divorce and custody process.

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Custody Evaluations: What You Should Know

If you and your former spouse have been unable to reach an agreement regarding child custody, the family court judge deciding your case may order a custody evaluation. A custody evaluation is a process in which a mental health professional, usually a psychologist, evaluates you, your children and your children’s other parent in order to make a custody and visitation recommendation to the court. Courts tend to give considerable weight to the recommendations of the evaluator. A family law attorney can explain custody evaluations and answer your child custody questions.

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Child Custody and Visitation Resource Links

Family Law in the 50 States
The American Bar Association publishes charts summarizing the basic laws in each state. Chart 2 summarizes the current custody criteria for all 50 states.

International Parental Child Abduction
This website is a U.S. Department of State guide for people whose children have been abducted by a parent and taken across an international border.

Children’s Rights Council
The CRC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the idea that both parents should be involved in their children’s lives; the CRC provides free drop-off/pick-up sites for custody transfers.

Office of Child Support and Enforcement
The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Administration for Children and Families helps to locate parents and enforce child support obligations.

Child Custody: An Overview
Child custody overview and resources provided by the Legal Information Institute (LII) at the Cornell University Law School.

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