Child Custody Forms

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Child custody forms in many ways reflect our legal and social priorities. State laws on adoption, separation, divorce, and child custody vary. Rulings that apply in New Jersey will not necessarily hold in Louisiana, for example. Fortunately, all laws put the child's best interest at the top of the legal priority list.

Child Custody Forms in Action

The first thing to remember about child custody forms related to divorce and separation is that the more specific any paperwork is, the better off everyone concerned will be. These child custody forms are key in shaping the future of the child or children. A number of divorce documents are either in fact or in essence child custody forms.

Among them are papers that may simply include clauses that make them child custody forms. These include petitions for divorce, separation agreements, temporary orders for separation and custody, and the final divorce decree. Only a few divorce documents focus exclusively on children. Such papers include visitation rulings and child custody orders.

Fostering and adoption papers are the second most common group of child custody forms. These include petitions for adoption, certificates of adoptive information, orders of adoption, declarations of inability to identify, notice of termination of parental rights, notice to putative father, and custody statements. These forms and their use vary, of course, from state to state.

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