An experienced family lawyer knows that if you are in the middle of a child custody dispute, you want to have an outcome that results in the most fair agreement possible. However, when you and your partner have fundamental differences, determining a good custody arrangement can be complicated. States have different laws that dictate how custody is awarded. For example, many states award 50/50 custody with no bias towards a certain parent. If your goal is to get shared custody, there are some things that you should know. A family lawyer can provide you with personalized legal assistance. 

How is child custody determined?

The state will evaluate several factors in order to determine how custody will be divided. In many states, there is no bias towards the mother or father when custody is being determined. They will examine factors such as each parent’s income, child’s age, the parents’ housing situation, the parents’ willingness to care for their child, and whether or not they have a history of alcohol or drugs. If the court finds that a parent is not mentally fit to care for their child, they may not be awarded custody. 

Who creates the visitation schedule? 

If one parent has sole physical custody of a child, the other non-custodial parent can have visitation rights. Both parents can work together to establish a visitation schedule. However, if they cannot reach an agreement, a judge will create a suitable visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent. They will determine the number of hours for parenting time that the parent may have each week or month. 

How can I get awarded joint custody? 

After reviewing the primary factors and examining your background, a judge will determine the custody arrangement. The court aims for a child to have a strong bond with both parents, so they will try to award joint custody in most cases. If you are trying to boost your chances of being awarded joint custody, make sure to be prepared. A judge will expect your answers to be detailed and genuine, so be sure to articulate your plan clearly. Making the effort to show how much you want to be involved in your child’s life will go a long way. 

If you need legal assistance regarding a child custody issue, contact a skilled family lawyer now.