Understanding How an Iowa Child Custody Judgement is Ordered
Child custody can be one of the thornier issues in a divorce negotiation. When a couple splits and they have minor children, issues of visitation and custody will be primary. If couples can work together to reach an agreement without the need for intervention from the legal system, the process will move faster and come to an easier conclusion. If couples cannot reach a compromise, they will have to find an attorney and work within the legal system to have a child custody order created. Iowa family court, like most states, focuses its interest on doing what is best for the child in the case. When you are working with an attorney to develop a strategy for your custody case, knowing what to expect will give you a better chance at meeting your goals. You can begin your preparations by knowing what factors the judge will review and working with an attorney to build a case.
When reviewing a child custody case, the family court system will review the following factors to determine the details of the order:
• The ability of each parent to care for their child
• Do the parents have a communicative relationship
• The child’s relationship with each parent
• Where the parents currently reside and whether it’s near their co-parent
• Is either adult a danger to themselves or others
• Would unsupervised custody lead to harm coming to the minor child
• Is there a history of domestic abuse or assault
• Is either parent connected with a registered sex offender that could put their child in danger
In addition to the above-listed factors, the court has the discretion to interview the child in the case to ascertain their perspective. This is not always used as a factor because sometimes, the court will determine that the child in the case has not reached a level of maturity to contribute to the case. The court will interview each parent if either is suing for sole custody. The court defaults to joint custody unless there is a reason why one parent is petitioning to remove the child from the other parent’s care.
Types of Custodial Arrangements
There are two types of child custody, legal and physical. The parent with physical custody is typically referred to as the custodial parent—the parent with who the child lives primarily.
• Physical Custody: Physical custody refers to how much time, usually in percentages, a child spends with a parent. For example, parents share custody 70/30, and the parent with the larger percentage has physical custody of the child.
• Legal Custody: Legal custody refers to those who can legally make decisions on behalf of the minor child for their well-being and betterment. For example, the custodial parent is the one the child lives with most frequently, and if they are the legal guardian, they can also make choices like school attendance, medical procedures, and medications.
The court typically leans towards joint custody orders because kids have better outcomes when both parents are engaged in their lives. Parents can sue for sole custody, which means one parent has full right to their minor child, physical and legal custody.
Contact The Law Offices of Mark R. Hinshaw for Child Custody Representation
At The Law Offices of Mark R. Hinshaw, we understand the complication and stress families feel when negotiating the details of their child custody plan. If you and your estranged spouse are fighting over custody issues, our Iowa child custody attorneys can help. Call us today at (515) 200-7571 to schedule a consultation to discuss how our attorney can help in your case.