If you are a parent in New Hampshire who is getting divorced, one of your first concerns will be about the way it will affect the children and how custody will be decided. Understanding your rights as a parent will help you prepare for the custody determinations of the case.
Legal and physical custody
Courts determine two types of child custody. Legal custody awards parents the right to make important decisions about their child’s life, such as about medical care, educational choices and religion. Physical custody establishes parenting time. In many cases, courts will grant shared physical and legal custody between the parents. However, in other cases, the court might grant parents shared legal custody but award primary physical custody to one parent and visitation to the other parent.
Child support and child custody
Besides child custody, divorcing parents will also need to address child support. Parents are legally responsible for providing financial support to meet their children’s needs. Sometimes, a parent who is responsible for paying support to the parent with primary physical custody will miss payments. While this has legal repercussions, the other parent cannot keep the parent who fails to pay from spending time with their child as courts see child support and child custody as separate areas and one should not affect the other.
Resolving custody issues during divorce
Child custody negotiations during the end of a marriage can become contentious. However, parents can attempt to minimize conflict. Some of the things they can do include:
- Work together to reach an agreement on parenting time division
- Find ways to communicate civilly with your co-parent
- Encourage the children to spend time with their other parent
- Be flexible as everyone adapts to the changes brought about the divorce
Remember that custody determinations during divorce are made with the best interests of the children in mind. Additionally, as your family evolves, your arrangement might also need to change.