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Child Custody Laws: Learn How States' Laws Differ

Each divorce court considers a number of factors when deciding what is in the best interest of the child. Child custody laws are different in each state, and are almost always created and enforced by individual states, not the federal government. This means a family court judge in Georgia may use a different standard for evaluating the capability condition of a parent than a judge in Massachusetts. Child custody laws are both federal and state laws that concern a parent’s legal authority to make decisions for his child. This is called legal custody.

States do have differing laws that deal with jurisdiction between other states, but not all states have this understanding however. So if one parent lives in one state and the parent and children in another, the state where the children reside will have more influence.

Child custody laws are a separate issue from child support laws, and petitions to the court on either matter must be filed separately. Child custody laws are designed to prevent custody going to abusers of drugs or alcohol. The laws are also in place that prevents the children from going to an environment where there is clear mental or physical abuse. Knowing the custody laws of your state is very important especially if both parties are on a constant battle to win their child’s custody.

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