To make sure that your child will not suffer much from the impact of your divorce, you and your ex-spouse should understand the applicable child custody laws for custodial and non-custodial parents. You have to know the nature and your share of rights and obligations in terms of your child’s upbringing. Doing so can be very challenging, so here are some tips to guide you through understanding the legal conditions that govern the custody of your child.
Consult the Court of Jurisdiction
To understand custody laws, you must consult first the court of jurisdiction. It is because custody laws vary from state to state. For example, a non-custodial parent needs to file a lawsuit against the custodial parent who does not follow the visitation rules ordered by the court. However, in other states, the non-custodial parent may be allowed to have a warrant served for the custodial parent. Thus, it is important to be familiar with the laws that apply to your situation.
The court of jurisdiction does not immediately change when the custodial parent takes along the child to another state. So, for instance, even though the arrangements for child support were created in Florida and the custodial parent and the child have moved to Arkansas, the custody laws in Florida still applies. You can request for the transfer of court of jurisdiction with the approval of the other parent.
Seek Help from Support Groups
Knowing the laws that apply to your child’s custody is only the first step. You can reinforce your understanding of the custody laws by asking for help from several support groups. You may opt to join the Children Rights Council (CRC) in your state. CRC members get legal help from volunteer lawyers who make them understand their rights and obligations as parents. If there’s something in the laws that you do not understand, ask the lawyers to shed some light on it. Several support groups for single fathers and single mothers are also available.
Take Advantage of the Internet
It helps to know how the custody laws in a state of jurisdiction have been applied in the past. You can use the Internet to get more information about that. Doing an online research can help you predict what will happen based on the similar cases you have read. It can also pitch you some ideas on what legal actions you can take if your ex-spouse is not following the custody and visitation order made by the court.
Divorce is indeed a difficult phase in your life, especially if it concerns your child. In fact, a lot of divorced parents manage to make their child custody arrangements work for the benefit of their children. Even if you and your former partner are no longer living under the same roof, there are ways to ensure that your child gets adequate love, care, and attention from both of you. Your knowledge and understanding of the custody laws come in handy should conflicts and disagreements about your child’s upbringing arise.