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Questions To Ask Your Attorney About Child Custody

Child Custody

As a parent going through a child custody case, it’s important to have a strong and knowledgeable lawyer by your side. Finding that professional takes time, and you may have many questions regarding custody cases once you do. To help you get started, we’ve detailed several questions to ask your attorney about child custody.

What Are the Types of Custody?

Child custody laws vary from state to state, but generally, there are four types of custody in the US: sole physical custody, joint physical custody, sole legal custody, and joint legal custody. Each type differs, and the court’s decision depends on the child’s best interests.

In sole physical custody, one parent has primary physical custody of the child, while in joint physical custody, both parents share equal or close to equal time with the child. Legal custody refers to one or both parents’ right to make legal decisions for the child, such as education, healthcare, and religion.

How Does the Court Determine Custody?

Another important question to ask your attorney about child custody is how state courts come to a decision. The judge’s primary concern in custody is the child’s best interest, so they will consider the following factors:

  • The child’s age
  • The child’s health
  • Emotional ties with parents
  • The parent’s ability to provide a stable living space

Sometimes, the court may consider the child’s preferences, but only if the child is old enough and capable of making a well-informed decision. Your child shouldn’t feel pressured to choose one parent over the other, and if courts suspect they do, the guilty parent could lose all custody rights.

Child Custody

What Can Hinder Custody Rights?

While each case differs, certain behaviors or circumstances can negatively impact custody rights. These may include a history of domestic violence, substance abuse, neglect, or inability to provide a stable environment. Discuss any issues in your case candidly with your lawyer. They can advise you on potential remedies or strategies to mitigate their impact on the case.

Moreover, actions such as parental alienation during any stage of marriage, divorce, or post-divorce can hinder custody. This is largely due to how parental alienation impacts children; it can lead to emotional distress, behavioral issues, and poor relationships with the other parent. If you feel your partner alienates you from your child, discuss this with the lawyer so you can gather evidence to build the case.

How Should We Prepare for the Case?

Preparation is the key to a successful child custody case, so create a clear plan of action with your attorney, and get all necessary steps in writing. This might involve gathering documents, preparing for a social worker’s home visit, or working on your testimony.

Discuss the details of each step you’ll have to take depending on your state laws, and keep necessary paperwork in a secure location. The more prepared you are, the better equipped you’ll be to handle the case and present your side.


Child support is essential for separated or divorced parents to ensure the well-being and stability of their children. If you’re a parent going through a separation or divorce, there are several things you should know about child support. Click here to read more: 5 Things You Should Know About Child Support

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