Child Custody Laws

Written by Michael O'Brien
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Although child custody laws may vary slightly from state to state, there are certain legal matters that are pretty much universal in any kind of child custody dispute. Knowing these issues may make the difficult matter of determining which parent will be the primary care giver to a child a little easier.

Basic Child Custody Laws

In general, the main thing to keep in mind regarding child custody is what is called the "Common Statutory Provision". According to this, both parents of a child who was born within the marriage in question, have equal rights to guardianship in the eyes of the law. It is a common misconception that the mother has more rights to legal custody of a child than the father, but this is not the case. (At least not anymore.)

The next step is in determining the child custody arrangement. Who will the child live with? How often will a parent be able to see their children? It should be noted that the court which presided over the divorce proceedings will also be the one to decide issues of child custody, as this matter falls within their original jurisdiction in deciding the terms of the divorce as well.

Knowing the Law

Before going into any kind of legal matter regarding custody of a child, be sure to do your homework, and know the child custody laws. Although it is no substitute for an attorney should the need arise, knowing that both parents have equal rights in this situation, can perhaps help them avoid any unnecessary legal complications or conflicts.


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