For couples contemplating divorce, one of the most pressing issues involves how the split will affect their children. Along with child support and health insurance for the children, who will have custody is perhaps the most pressing question. In situations where the couple has an amicable separation, custody and visitation agreements can often be worked out between the couple themselves. However, if the divorce is one in which both parties agree to little if anything on important issues, one parent may ask the judge for a temporary custody and visitation order. But even if this is granted, many people wonder if that order will stay in place until the divorce is finalized.
Purpose of Temporary Custody
While this temporary order is meant to be in place only until the divorce proceedings end, it does serve a number of other important purposes. For example, it will provide the children with stability while the divorce process plays out, enabling them to attend their current schools and receive crucial social support during these difficult circumstances. In addition to this, a temporary order will also prevent one parent from moving out-of-state during the divorce proceedings. Therefore, if one parent is threatening to take away the children, this may be a viable option.
Temporary Custody Issues
When attempting to establish temporary custody and visitation, there are many factors the judge will take into consideration before making a decision. Some of the most important include:
–Domestic violence incidents, if any
–Health insurance coverage
In almost all cases, a temporary custody order will not be automatic, so it’s vital to come to a custody hearing well-prepared, with all available paperwork.
In any type of custody case, whether permanent or temporary, the child’s best interests always come first. Because of this, a judge will thoroughly examine many aspects of the family’s life before making a final decision on temporary custody. Along with looking at each parent’s relationship with their children, the judge will also examine each parent’s physical and emotional health, the physical and emotional needs of the children, and the ability of each parent to meet their children’s needs.
Losing Temporary Custody
While in most cases a temporary custody and visitation order will stay in place until the divorce order is finalized, there are situations that may arise which result in a parent losing temporary custody. As always, if the children’s best interests are not being met, the temporary custody order can be put in jeopardy. Some of the most common instances where one parent loses temporary custody include a major change in circumstances for the parent with custody, the children’s needs are not being met, or if the parent with custody is preventing the other parent from having visitation with the children. However, for a parent who loses temporary custody, the good news is that it is still possible to regain custody if circumstances change or other factors come into play. For a parent who may be trying to gain permanent custody even though the other parent has temporary custody, they should do everything possible to look good in the eyes of the court. Taking advantage of visitation opportunities, staying current on child support payments, and keeping records of what you’ve spent on the children can help convince a court that you are willing to put your children’s needs first.
Speak With an Attorney
Of course, prior to seeking a temporary custody order, you should always consult an experienced and knowledgeable divorce lawyer. Not only will they be able to answer your questions as they pertain to the law, but they will also offer insight as to how similar cases have played out. By thinking through the situation and discussing it with your attorney, you’ll be able to satisfy your needs as well as those of your children.