Will the Temporary Custody Order Be Continued at Our Hearing?
When parents get divorced, it is possible that a judge will create a temporary custody order while a settlement is being negotiated. After the divorce becomes official, there will a hearing to determine whether or not that custody order should be kept in place. Depending on what is in the best interests of the child, a judge may decide to make the temporary order a permanent one.
Did the Judge Raise Any Concerns When Making the Temporary Order?
If the judge was concerned about the children’s safety prior to the divorce becoming official, you may have lost custody or otherwise had your parental rights limited. These concerns could have related to the use of controlled substances or alcohol. It could have also been related to allegations or documented instances of domestic abuse. If you weren’t able to alleviate those concerns, a judge may grant permanent custody to the other parent.
Do You Live Close to Your Child?
Generally speaking, the parent who can provide the most stability for a child is the one who will get custody. If you moved to another state while your child’s other parent stayed put, you may not regain custody of your children when the divorce is finalized. This is because it will be impractical to expect the child to spend several days a week in two different states. Therefore, you may be granted visitation and other rights to your son or daughter during summer breaks or during the holiday season.
Do You Have the Ability to Support the Child Financially?
In most cases, parents will obtain custody of their children only if they have the means to provide for them financially. This means being able to pay for food, shelter and clothing. Ideally, parents will also be able to pay for toys, trips or other forms of entertainment on occasion. However, a judge will primarily be looking to see that the child is safe and properly cared for.
If you don’t have the means to provide for your child when the divorce becomes official, the other parent may retain custody for now. Of course, that could change if you get a job, inherit money or otherwise see a change in your financial status. In the meantime, you may be allowed to see your child and play a role in his or her life if you are fit to do so.
Does Your Schedule Allow You to Spend Time With the Child Regularly?
For a judge to grant you custody of your children, it will be necessary to show that you have time to devote to them on a regular basis. This means being home when they get home from school, being able to attend sporting events and generally being around to provide supervision. While there is nothing wrong with asking the other parent, a grandparent or a trusted friend to watch the child in spurts, you should be able to be there for them more often than not. If your schedule is irregular or not conducive to caring for a child, a judge may grant custody to the other parent instead.
How Old Are the Children?
The law allows a child to have input as it relates to a custody order. If the children are deemed to be mature enough to determine who they want to be with, their preferences may carry the most weight with a judge. Therefore, even if you were granted temporary custody of a son or daughter, it may be possible for the other parent to obtain it permanently if the children lobby for it convincingly enough.
What If You Currently Have Custody?
In the event that you already have custody of your children, there is a good chance that you will be able to retain it. Of course, that all depends on the exact circumstances of the case and why you were granted custody to begin with. In some cases, a parent will be given custody of a child simply because the other parent wanted or needed to leave while the divorce was being resolved.
Assuming that the children are properly cared for and not at risk for getting hurt, a temporary arrangement could be made permanent. This assumes that the children or the other parent doesn’t object. It also assumes that a state agency or some other third-party doesn’t object to your having custody of a child.
There is no guarantee that a temporary custody order will be made permanent after a divorce is finalized. However, as long as a judge is satisfied that the best interests of the children are being met, there is a good chance that this will happen. If you or your former spouse dislike some or all of a current custody order, it may be possible to create a custom plan that can be submitted to a judge for approval.