When custody is an issue in a family law case, the court looks to award joint custody whenever possible. The reasoning behind this decision is that the court believes it to be in the child's best interests to have a positive relationship with both parents. Many factors go into making this determination, and our experienced family law attorney at The Law Offices of Mark S. Knutson, S.C. can guide you through the process and help make sure your parental rights are protected.
What is Joint Custody?
Joint custody is an arrangement in which both parents have custody of the children. This can be either joint physical custody, meaning the child lives with both parents, or joint legal custody, meaning both parents have the right to make decisions about the child's upbringing. In most cases, joint custody is awarded for both physical and legal custody, as the court believes it to be in the child's best interests to have a relationship with both parents.
Why Is Joint Custody In The Best Interests of the Child?
There are many reasons why the court may believe joint custody is in the best interests of the child. The most important factor is usually the relationship between the child and each parent. The court views it as essential to protect positive relationships held by each parent and the child, and awarding sole custody to one parent can harm the other parent’s relationship with the child.
It is important to note that custody is not always awarded equally. The court may award joint custody but give one parent primary placement, meaning the child will live with that parent most of the time. The court may also award joint custody but give one parent sole legal custody, meaning that the parent has the right to make decisions about the child's upbringing.
Why Would Joint Custody Not Be Granted?
In some circumstances, joint custody would not be considered in the child’s best interests, mainly if the continued relationship between one parent and the child would harm the child. For sole custody to be awarded, one parent must be proven unfit, the parents must agree to sole custody, or the courts must view joint custody as not in the child’s best interests.
Helping You at the Important Times of Your Life
If your family is undergoing a family law issue, our experienced family law attorney can help. We understand that family law issues might be uncharted territory for your family and are dedicated to helping your family through this process.
Do you have questions about a family law issue? Schedule a free phone consultation today by calling us at (262) 205-0705. Our attorney is ready to help you make the first steps in your family law journey.