3 Things To Know About Child Custody

Posted on: 8 November 2017

When it comes to relationships, not all of them go the distance. In 2014 alone, there were just over 800,000 divorces in the US. Many couples who split, whether they were married or not, also have children together. Deciding how to split a child's time up between two parents can be difficult. Determining where their child's primary residence will be can also be difficult and a source of strife. Child custody agreements can take a lot of time and adjustments to get right. Here are three things to know before working out a child custody agreement:

Types Of Custody

The first thing that any parent should know is the difference between the different child custody options. Legal custody refers to the right to make legal decisions concerning the child and often includes decisions on education, religion, and healthcare. Physical custody is awarded to whichever parent the child lives with. In some cases, sole custody, where one parent has both legal and physical custody, is awarded. Split legal custody is where both parents make decisions regarding the child. Split physical custody is where the child spends equal amounts of time with both parents.

Laws Vary From State To State

Another thing to consider is the fact that custody laws vary from state to state. It's important for a parent to be familiar with the laws in their state and to read up on what is expected of them. Certain documents may also be needed during a child custody case. Personal records, financial records, proof of child support payments, visitation schedules, and even phone logs may end up being required. An experienced custody lawyer can help parents navigate this process and determine which documents will be needed.

Cost Can Vary

When it comes to child custody cases, costs can vary. The more complex and contested the custody, the more expensive the legal fees will be. There's also a difference in fee structure between many custody lawyers. Some charge a flat fee while others charge an hourly rate. Child custody lawyers will charge anywhere from $75 to $400 per hour or a flat fee between $3,000 and $6,000. Hiring specialists and mediators for a custody case can also end up costing thousands of dollars.

Child custody agreements can be difficult to arrange after a split. For those who are trying to come up with an agreement, here are three things to keep in mind. There are different types of custody and various ways to split it between the two parents. Being familiar with the different types is essential while trying to come up with a child custody agreement. Custody laws also vary from state to state. The cost of a custody lawyer varies, however, the more contested and drawn out the custody fight, the more expensive it tends to be. 

Contact a law office like Law Offices of Lynda Latta, LLC for more information and assistance.