Eight Common Questions about Child Custody Cases

Eight Common Questions about Child Custody Cases

Eight Common Questions about Child Custody Cases

Are you in the middle of a child custody case?  Are you confused about what's going to happen as a result of your child custody case?  Do you understand all of the etiquette and rules of your child custody case?  As a family law practice in Orlando, we work with many clients that have gone through bitter divorces and now need to embark on equally emotional child custody battles.  Going through all of these family conflicts can be difficult, but when you have the right representation and advocacy in your corner, you will be able to get the best outcome for your situation.  There are a few common questions that can help you better understand child custody cases and how they may affect your life.

What is a parenting agreement?

When you are involved in a divorce process that also involves children, you will want to also draft up a parenting agreement.  These are the least contentious documents that involve settling child custody issues.  For example, you can draft a parenting agreement to include information about where the children will go to school and the times and days that each parent has the children.  Outlining this basic information provides structure and expectations for the children without the need for full court orders.

What are some of the drawbacks of a parenting agreement?

As stated above, these agreements are the least contentious way of settling child custody issues.  However, they do come with their drawbacks.  Parenting agreements are not enforceable by law, so they should only be used when both of the parents are reliable and responsible.  It is difficult for the courts to step in with legal action when the terms of this type of agreement are violated.  This will need to be something that you can settle on your own.  Parents that end things on a good note often settle with parenting agreements.

How do we formalize our child custody agreement?

There are typically two methods to formalize your child custody agreement legally.  The first method is to use a custodial agreement, which is a legally binding contract that outlines your responsibilities.  This document is signed by both parties when the compromises have been made and the arrangement has been agreed upon.  The second method is a court order, which needs to be issued when one of the parents is not reliable to follow through with the agreement made.  Although this is one of the most effective methods, as it can be enforced by the courts, it is also more contentious.

What are the consequences of violating the terms of the child custody agreement?

Violating the terms of the legal custody agreement can result in Contempt of Court.  This can involve jail time, legal ramifications, fines, and more.  When you have court ordered papers, you will want to take into account the reliability of each parent.  Typically, you will want a court order when there are substance abuse issues with one of the parents so that the agreement will become easily enforced.  

Should I prepare for a disagreement in my child custody battle?

When you are in the middle of your child custody battle, you will want to consider the possibility that your ex will not agree with your arrangement.  To best prepare for this outcome, you will want to be ready with the proper documentation that can help with your negotiations.  After the agreement is pushed aside, these negotiations will begin.  Be prepared with witness statements, report cards, photos, health records, and other documents that can help support your abilities as a parent.

How is child custody settled in court?

In the event that your child custody case sees the courtroom, you will want to be prepared by best understanding how these cases are typically settled.  Child custody cases often take into account many factors about each parent before deciding custody.  They will take into account the amount of time the children spend with each parent, the income of each parent, the expenses of the children, and any other issues that may be pertinent to the case.  Your family law practice in Orlando will be able to provide you with more information on how this is calculated so that you have a better idea of what to expect in the event that your case goes to court.

Can I agree to any child support payments?

Once the child custody arrangements are made, one of the parties will likely be responsible for paying child support to the other.  The parent that has the children more often will likely be compensated for the financial needs of the children.  As this is decided, you will have the chance to agree upon an amount that is fitting to take care of your children.  For example, children that are involved in activities, sports, and other extra-curricular activities may require more money to take care of.  Be sure that you put this information in your agreement, along with the time and date of the payment, so that you are able to formalize this agreement.

Can a written proposal help to settle the case?

When it comes to agreeing upon your child custody arrangement, you may want to draft up a written proposal with all of your information or requests.  This document can help your family law practice in Orlando negotiate and try to get you what you are looking for, which can speed up the process and allow you to reach an agreement sooner.  When you are concerned about the status of your case, consider writing out a thorough and detailed proposal.

These are just a few of the facts that can help you better understand child custody cases and how they work.  When you are in the middle of these situations, it is difficult to get the insight you need to make the best choices.  For that reason, you will want to trust an experienced and knowledgeable family law practice in Orlando to help you through it.  Contact us to schedule a consultation with our reputable child custody attorneys today.

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