Having the right child custody and visitation information can make all the difference in your family law case. The laws and procedures that apply to your specific needs will depend on the state and even the county where you live. So, you must research and work with a local attorney you trust.
Below are links to child custody and visitation legal information at the national and state levels. The sources include information on parenting plans and agreements where available.
You might find what you want on the state-specific Family Courts and Family Law Forms pages.
How States Decide Custody Generally
Most states follow the best interests of the child standard to make custody decisions. Courts will consider various factors to decide the custody of the child. Factors include the child's needs, the ability of each parent to provide child care, and both parents' physical and mental health.
The court will also consider the parent-child relationship between each parent and the child. The court will use these factors to order a custody arrangement or enter a visitation order. Ultimately, the court prioritizes the safety and well-being of the child.
There are different types of custody. The court may order joint physical custody, joint legal custody, or sole custody of the minor child. Legal custody means a parent can make major decisions about the child's life. This includes decisions about health care, medical care, or education. Physical custody is where a child primarily lives.
If a parent is “unfit" by the court, the court may order the non-custodial parent to undergo a support order. The non-custodial parent may have to pay child support to the custodial parent.
District of Columbia
Get Professional Legal Help with Your Child Custody Case
Child custody and visitation information varies by state. Forms and other resources are available. But, nothing matches the support that an experienced family law attorney can provide. They are well-versed in the laws of your state and can be your strongest advocate with the court. They can help you get a final court order on child custody.
Get started today by finding a skilled family law attorney in your state.