With so many types of custody regarding children of divorced parents, it’s no wonder they get confused and bewildered. Divorce is such a traumatic time for the parents, consider what it’s like for a child who doesn’t know what’s happening. If the parents can agree on things, and the divorce is amicable, the children may spend equal amounts of time with each parent. If it’s a bitter divorce, many spouses want to use the children to scare their spouse into giving them what they want (possibly not a divorce) or they’ll make sure they don’t see the children.

When first married, how the marriage would end never occurred to them. Things happen during a marriage that cause spouses to stop paying attention to each other, or they stop respecting each other and simply lose interest. If this happens to just one spouse, the other becomes irate and that’s when they begin using the children as leverage. This is when they definitely need an attorney to sort out the matter, and especially with who gets custody of the children.

The court will look at who the children want to remain with if they’re over age 12. Many times children don’t want to say what’s on their minds because they love both parents. Quite often, both spouses share custody 50% – 50%, and there is no squabble over them. Sometimes, one parent continues to live in the home they shared and the children stay with them in order to go to school. Their lives are maintained in an orderly manner since that parent has residential custody of them.

Sometimes one parent has total custody of the children with the other spouse having visitation rights they can exercise on certain days discussed ahead of time. This is joint legal custody. The most important thing to note is that the courts take everything into consideration when it comes to the welfare of a child. Important facts, such as who is better able to care for them? What is the child’s age, and are there any health issues requiring a parent to be with them all the time? Are there any signs of abuse in the home, and are the parents of good moral character? These are just a few of the issues attorneys must iron out when couples divorce.