Friday, October 19, 2012

How Is Child Custody Percentage Determined in an Uncontested Divorce?

Uncontested divorces are generally cheaper and less of a hassle, making them very popular options for couples who are pursuing a divorce. One of the most hotly contested issues in a divorce is child custody, although when an uncontested divorce is pursued both parties must agree on an arrangement. Otherwise, the divorce turns from an uncontested one into a contested one. Lawyers may still be consulted during the divorce process when the other spouse does not contest it, but generally both parties must agree on all issues outlined in the divorce agreement including child custody, child support, visitation rights as well as asset division and other legal matters. The moment that any of these items cannot be agreed upon, the divorce turns contested in which case the Court may ultimately determine the terms of the agreement and child custody.

Whether to pursue a 50/50 child custody arrangement or a 60/40 arrangement or any other division of time spent with the child is largely up to the parents in an uncontested divorce. Cases of joint physical custody typically involve an arrangement that has both parents spending relatively equal amounts of time with the child. In cases of sole physical custody, the child may live with one parent, but that does not mean the non-custodial parent is not able to see the child. Visitation rights (holidays, weekends, etc.) are still involves in many cases of sole physical custody. Joint legal custody, which means both parents may make decisions involving the child's health care, religion, education, etc., may be present even if sole physical custody is present.

When determining the child custody arrangement while pursuing an uncontested divorce, it is important that both parties be fair with the other. Joint custody, whether physical or legal, should only be an option if both parents provide a safe, nurturing environment for the child. If this is the case with both parents, finding a way to divide the time equally will be helpful in the pursuit of a non-disputed divorce. The parents may also opt for sole physical custody in which one parent sees the child on weekends and holidays while still pursuing an uncontested divorce as long as both parties agree to the arrangement.

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