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Everything You Need to Know about US Law Regarding Child Custody

— September 2, 2022

After the divorce, if one parent still wants to modify custody but the other parent disagrees, it’s time for the court to get involved.

Child custody is never an easy subject. Each state is different, and if you or someone you know is going through this situation, it’s always good to see how the law works. But let’s face it, not everyone knows how US laws work. If you’re interested in this topic, this article will provide the essential information you need about child custody.

Is the Law the Same for Every State?

Generally speaking, the laws of states are similar in many aspects. The main similarity is that both mothers and fathers are treated equally. However, all 50 states have laws, and child custody is no exception.

When child custody is being decided, there are two main options: “joint custody”, also known as shared custody, and “sole custody”, which provides visitation rights. Here’s what impacts these two options.

Parents Agreement

It’s a well-stated fact that the parents resolve over 90 percent of child custody cases. However, lawyers must get involved when the parents can’t agree on custody. When the case gets sent to the court, a judge considers many factors and settles the issue.

Professional lawyers can make or break your case, so you must choose carefully. Judges, on the other hand, tend to be unbiased. They usually decide based on the child’s interests and each lawyer’s facts.

Silhouette of child and adult holding hands
Silhouette of child and adult holding hands; image courtesy of geralt via Pixabay,

For example, if you happen to live in New York and need help regarding child custody, you must search for New York Custody Lawyers to interfere with your case. Undoubtedly, you will have a higher chance of winning your case if you opt for these lawyers because they know their way around law regulations, so they’re your number one source of protection.

Modification of Custody

If you didn’t know already, custody decisions can be modified. In cases when parents want to modify custody, they can do so without going to court. However, when parents go through a tough divorce and can’t seem to get to an agreement, the initial step is to get a lawyer first. Again, if you’re from the state of New York, it might be best if you seek help from New York Divorce Lawyers so you’re done with the first problem.

After the divorce, if one parent still wants to modify custody but the other parent disagrees, it’s time for the court to get involved and balance the competing interests of both parties. Usually, modification of custody requires proof of two things:

  1. When there have been many changes of circumstance since the initial custody order
  2. That it’s in the child’s best interests

Some examples of circumstances in which custody can be modified include: a child’s preference to live with the noncustodial parent; when a custodial parent is planning on moving to a different state, and the child is strongly connected to their school, the noncustodial parent and community; when a child has an ongoing conflict with a stepparent.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, child custody is decided based on the child’s best interests. The law treats both parents equally unless there are certain circumstances in which the court is biased. The principles of equality grew in the US, especially during the last five decades, in divorce and the workplace.

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