Hailey Child Custody Attorney
Hailey Child Custody
Any child custody arrangement is always a tricky situation to navigate, and the intense emotions that are attached to these cases makes them even more difficult to manage. It is crucial that you have a dedicated, experienced legal professional on hand to help you work your way through the situation, and ensure that you achieve the best possible outcome for you and your children. By speaking to our team, this is exactly what you are guaranteed.
Will The Courts Need To Be Involved In A Child Custody Arrangement?
If a situation can be worked out amicably between parents, then there will be no need for your child custody arrangements to include courts and judges. If a joint custody arrangement cannot be reached, however, then the Idaho Domestic Relations Law states that a family court judge is responsible for making the decision to award physical and legal custody. The focus here is always on what is in the child’s best interests, and this means that there is a good amount of flexibility available to the judge. There are a number of factors that can be used to determine the best custody arrangements for a child, and these include:
- The desires of the parents regarding the desired custody arrangement
- The desires of the children regarding who they would prefer as their custodial parent
- The existing relationships between the children and each of their parents
- The relationship between the child and any siblings who may currently be in the custody of either parent
- The housing, employment and financial circumstances of each parent
- The ability of each parent to meet the daily physical, mental and emotional needs
- The fitness of each parent to act as a primary provider
- The involvement that the child or children has with their local community and their schools
- The circumstances surrounding the current home life of the child
- The ability of each parent to provide adequate stability in the child’s life
Based on the information received here, the judge can then decide who will have custody, and this is divided into two types: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody refers to the physical place where the child lives, while legal custody determines which parent will take care of the key decisions associated with the child, such as medical and health decisions, schooling, religious education and so on. Judges will award joint custody wherever this is in the best interests of the child, but here children will usually live in one place, and the other parent will be awarded visitation rights.
Can Child Custody Be Changed?
Unlike some areas, Idaho law does allow changes to be made to child custody arrangements, providing that both parents are in agreement – if this is the case, then the arrangements can be made between the parents and presented to the court for easy modification – this is more likely to be approved. Where only one parent is seeking modification, however, the situation is a little trickier. In this case, the parent requesting the change will be required to prove the reasons why the change is necessary, and how it meets the best interests of the child.
In order to ensure that the child custody modification is approved, there are a number of standards that the parents will be required to meet – this is to help ensure that any and all changes are in the best interests of the child, and not merely to satisfy squabbles or rivalries between parents. The judge will look at:
- Why the request has been made
- What, if any, significant, relevant changes have occurred in the lives of the parents or child since the finalisation of the custody agreement
- The ways in which the modification will benefit the children
- Will these benefits outweigh any disturbances?
Modification and Relocation
In many cases, however, the non-resident parent will contest the relocation. In this case, the burden of proof as to why the relocation is needed will be placed on the custodial parent, who will need to justify what can often be a very disruptive change for the child. In evaluating the request, the judge will consider a number of factors:
- The reason for the relocation – does the parent have a new job or a desire to be closer to their support system?
- Is the non-resident parent contesting the relocation, and why?
- What are the ages and sex of the children?
- What are the benefits of the relocation, including improved education or social opportunities?
- What is the relationship between the children and both parents?
- What are the desires of the children (if age appropriate)
- What is the cost of alternative communication methods?