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Key points regarding child custody

As you prepare for your child custody case in Delaware, you might have a lot of questions. Part of beginning the process should include figuring out the relevant information so that you can feel confident about what to expect.

Check state legislation

When you are looking for answers to custody questions, be sure that you look for the right information. While child custody legislation is similar from state to state, there will be points that you will need to be knowledgeable about that might only apply in Delaware and not in the other states in the Delmarva area or the Eastern Seaboard as a whole.

Types of custody

In all states, you will be pursuing two types of child custody: legal and physical. Legal custody will allow you to make important decisions regarding your child’s life. Physical custody will determine where the child lives most of the time. Parents might receive sole or joint legal and physical custody. Sole custody of either type makes one parent wholly responsible for the child’s physical home or for all of the legal decisions about the child’s upbringing. Joint custody means that the parents will share responsibility.

Factors that affect custody

When courts are awarding custody, they will consider several factors that include:

  • Each parent’s ability to care for the child
  • Each parent’s wishes regarding custody
  • The relationship the child has with each parent
  • Each parent’s willingness to encourage and support their child’s bond with the other parent
  • The age of the child, their needs and even their wishes depending on their age
  • History or allegations of abuse

Parents can negotiate their own agreements, draft the document and submit it to the court for approval, and the court can approve it if the court feels that the agreement was made in the best interest of the child. Parents might also choose to go through mediation or arbitration to resolve their issues or litigate in court if they are not able to reach any agreement on their own.