Child Custody Rights

When the parents of a child get divorced or separated, or were never married in the first place, the parents have to decide who will be primarily responsible for raising the child. After all, children still need to be raised, and most experts agree that it's better for children to be raised by both of their parents than by only one of them, in most cases. This doesn't change when the relationship between the parents breaks down. And, thankfully, most parents are sensible enough to recognize this fact, and do what they can to ensure that the problems that exist between them affect their children as little as possible.

When the parents can't agree on child custody rights by themselves, your local family law court is going to have to make a decision for you. It's important to note that the court will not give much weight to the preferences or desires of either parent when making this decision. Instead, the court will consider the well-being of the child. In determining what decision is in the best interests of the child, the court will consider many factors, and work from a few starting assumptions.

First, unless there is strong evidence to suggest otherwise, the court will assume that it's better for the child to have both parents involved in his or her life, than to only have one. Of course, the facts of a particular case might work against this assumption (if one of the parents has a history of neglect or abuse, for instance). Read more about Grandparent Custody Rights and Step-Parent Custody Rights.

LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor, , Attorney at Law

Alabama Child Custody Lawyers

Show Alabama Cities

Alaska Child Custody Lawyers

Show Alaska Cities

Arizona Child Custody Lawyers

Show Arizona Cities

Arkansas Child Custody Lawyers

Show Arkansas Cities

California Child Custody Lawyers

Show California Cities

Colorado Child Custody Lawyers

Show Colorado Cities

Connecticut Child Custody Lawyers

Show Connecticut Cities

Delaware Child Custody Lawyers

Show Delaware Cities

Florida Child Custody Lawyers

Show Florida Cities

Georgia Child Custody Lawyers

Show Georgia Cities

Hawaii Child Custody Lawyers

Show Hawaii Cities

Idaho Child Custody Lawyers

Show Idaho Cities

Illinois Child Custody Lawyers

Show Illinois Cities

Indiana Child Custody Lawyers

Show Indiana Cities

Iowa Child Custody Lawyers

Show Iowa Cities

Kansas Child Custody Lawyers

Show Kansas Cities

Kentucky Child Custody Lawyers

Show Kentucky Cities

Louisiana Child Custody Lawyers

Show Louisiana Cities

Maine Child Custody Lawyers

Show Maine Cities

Maryland Child Custody Lawyers

Show Maryland Cities

Massachusetts Child Custody Lawyers

Show Massachusetts Cities

Michigan Child Custody Lawyers

Show Michigan Cities

Minnesota Child Custody Lawyers

Show Minnesota Cities

Mississippi Child Custody Lawyers

Show Mississippi Cities

Missouri Child Custody Lawyers

Show Missouri Cities

Montana Child Custody Lawyers

Show Montana Cities

Nebraska Child Custody Lawyers

Show Nebraska Cities

Nevada Child Custody Lawyers

Show Nevada Cities

New Hampshire Child Custody Lawyers

Show New Hampshire Cities

New Jersey Child Custody Lawyers

Show New Jersey Cities

New Mexico Child Custody Lawyers

Show New Mexico Cities

New York Child Custody Lawyers

Show New York Cities

North Carolina Child Custody Lawyers

Show North Carolina Cities

North Dakota Child Custody Lawyers

Show North Dakota Cities

Ohio Child Custody Lawyers

Show Ohio Cities

Oklahoma Child Custody Lawyers

Show Oklahoma Cities

Oregon Child Custody Lawyers

Show Oregon Cities

Pennsylvania Child Custody Lawyers

Show Pennsylvania Cities

Rhode Island Child Custody Lawyers

Show Rhode Island Cities

South Carolina Child Custody Lawyers

Show South Carolina Cities

South Dakota Child Custody Lawyers

Show South Dakota Cities

Tennessee Child Custody Lawyers

Show Tennessee Cities

Texas Child Custody Lawyers

Show Texas Cities

Utah Child Custody Lawyers

Show Utah Cities

Virginia Child Custody Lawyers

Show Virginia Cities

Vermont Child Custody Lawyers

Show Vermont Cities

Washington Child Custody Lawyers

Show Washington Cities

Wisconsin Child Custody Lawyers

Show Wisconsin Cities

West Virginia Child Custody Lawyers

Show West Virginia Cities

Wyoming Child Custody Lawyers

Show Wyoming Cities

Grandparent Custody Rights

In some cases, when neither parent is able to properly care for the child, a court might grant custody rights to the child's grandparents, if it can be shown that giving grandparents custody rights is in the child's best interest, and they are the closest living relatives who are best able to take care of the child.

Step-Parent Custody Rights

Sometimes, when one parent passes away, or is no longer in the picture for another reason, the parent who has custody of the child will re-marry. If this happens when the child is still very young, the step-parent may want to seek custody rights. This can often be accomplished by the step-parent legally adopting the child. In this case, the step-parent will have custody rights identical to those enjoyed by a biological parent.


Find the Right Lawyer Now

Top Rated Lawyers:

Along with full attorney profiles, you'll see how other LegalMatch users rate each attorney that may respond to your case.

Peter S.

Peter S.S. California

Job & Employment Law

Rating (32 users): *****

Ann V. Cleveland, OH

Family, Bankruptcy, Estate Law

Rating (8 users): *****

Jamison S. Fullerton, CA

Family Law

Rating (11 users): *****

Kevin K. San Diego, CA

Family & Estate Law

Rating (14 users): *****

Mitchell M. Salem, NJ

Family Law

Rating (19 users): *****

Need a Family Lawyer?

No obligation - Lawyers compete for your case. Choose your issue & get started now: