Stillings & Buchinger, LLC
child custody - physical placement
Physical placement is a legal term that refers to the physical presence of a child with one parent or the other. In a court order regarding the custody and care of a minor child (or children), the court will specify how legal custody and physical placement are awarded. In cases involving divorce, custody orders are usually part of the final judgment of divorce. In post judgment actions (legal actions taken after the final judgment of divorce or a custody hearing) and other actions such as custody law suits, a court will enter a separate order addressing the legal custody and physical placement of a child or children. Visitation is different than legal custody or physical placement.
when parents agree on physical placement
Parents who agree on the placement of their children can create a parenting plan. The plan will need to include information about the legal custody and physical placement of each child. The plan is then submitted to the court for approval. In most instances, unless there is some good reason, a court will approve a joint parenting agreement. Custody and placement will then be awarded based on the agreement.
When Child Placement is disputed
If the parents cannot agree upon a parenting plan, then the Court will intercede. The Court may order the parents into mediation. Court ordered mediation differs from voluntary mediation in many ways. When people opt to go through divorce mediation as a means to resolve any issues that may exist between them relative to marital property, child custody or support, they select the attorney to handle the mediation, go through the mediation process and the mediator writes up an agreement that binds the parties to what they agreed to during the mediation process.
Court ordered mediation begins with a court order - the court is ordering the parties into mediation to resolve their differences. Court ordered mediation often involves a trained social worker to work out an agreement. If one or both of the parties contend that the other party is an unfit parent, abusive, or some other accusation, the court may appoint a Guardian Ad Litem to investigate the living arrangements, parents or any other factor that the court or the Guardian Ad Litem determines may affect the children. The Guardian Ad Litem is an attorney appointed to the case by the court and reports to the court regarding the best interests of the child or children.
Free initial consultation
Whether you are just beginning your divorce, are prepared to file for divorce, or have already been divorced and have issues with the child custody order of the court, the attorneys at Stillings & Buchinger can help you understand the law and how that law can affect your situation. For a free initial consultation to discuss the attorneys experience in child custody matters and explain your situation, please contact the law offices of Attorney Stillings and Attorney Burchinger.
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