When a married couple with children decide to divorce in New Hampshire, numerous decisions must be made about the care and well-being of the kids. Parents typically want to peacefully resolve such issues by making a co-parenting plan, parting ways and moving forward with as little disruption and stress for the children as possible. There are several types of child custody, and it is a good idea to understand each one before proceedings begin.
A family court judge overseeing a child custody case keeps children’s best interests in mind when make decisions. For instance, if one parent requests sole custody, the judge will carefully review evidence to determine if that is what would be best for the children. In some cases, parents will appeal a decision the court has made if they believe it is unfair or that their parental rights have been usurped.
Physical custody, legal custody, split custody, etc.
One parent or both may have physical custody of children. In case of the latter, the kids spend a divided amount of time living both households. This is commonly referred to as “joint physical custody.” If one parent has primary physical custody, the other parent becomes a noncustodial parent but may have visitation privileges, either supervised or unsupervised, depending on the circumstances. Legal custody pertains to decision-making authority, which may also be shared between both parents or granted to one parent only.
If the court decides that a split child custody arrangement is best, it typically means that one child will live with one parent while another will reside with the other parent. In any case, a concerned New Hampshire parent may request sole custody if he or she believes the other parent’s presence is a detriment to the children’s well-being. In such circumstances, the parent making the request must demonstrate just cause to convince the court that the other parent is unfit. A parent may seek legal support to address child custody concerns.