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Child Custody Rights: How Parental Custody Rights Are Determined

Child custody is probably the most emotional and important issue for parents facing divorce. During divorce or marriage annulment proceedings, the issue of child custody rights often becomes a matter for the court to determine the legal guardianship of a child under the age of 18. It is generally determined on the basis of what the court deems in the best interests' of the concerned child or children. In most cases of parents or guardians separating, the court will decide on which parent will be better able to provide for the child's needs.

Parents always want the best for their children. However, when divorce happens, there is often disagreement between parents about what is best for the children and which of them should have custody of their children. Parenting Plans, Mediation, and Support/Intervention in high conflict cases: the second pillar establishes a legal expectation that parents jointly develop a parenting plan before any court hearing is held on matters related to post-separation parenting. The courts role would then be to approve the negotiated plan.

Parental custody rights, responsibilities and the type and amount of contact the children have with each parent will need to be sorted out. If parents cannot work out and agree on responsibilities and a parenting arrangement, the court will step in to make a legal custody and physical custody determination, typically using the "best interest of the child" standard.

Child custody rights are considered a series of rights and responsibilities that govern a parent’s caretaking relationship with their child and may include legal custody matters and physical custody matters.

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