Author: Ryan

How to File for Custody in a Paper Divorce

How to File for Custody in a Paper Divorce

Flying Alone With Your Kids? Make Sure You Have Proof of Your Relationship In a Paper Divorce

By Janice D. Schoenfeld |

Jan 16, 2018

I don’t mean your marriage to them.

I mean custody of your kids—or, perhaps more accurately, control over your kids once you have them in your custody. Divorce papers are the legal documents you’ll need to file with the courts that will determine the custody of your child.

In a paper divorce, your child’s custody is established based on the judge’s determination, not the strength of your relationship with your ex-spouse. You have a say in your kids’ lives when you file your custody papers with the court, and that’s why it’s good to know this process well.

If you find yourself unsure whether it’s in your best interest to have custody of your child that’s the time to consult with an attorney or other neutral professional.

Know your rights

The American Law Institute says parents have a fundamental right to the care and custody of their children. But, this right can only be exercised if the judge will give it.

When a judge gives custody to one parent or the other, the other parent has the right to file for custody of their children. The judge might grant sole parental and child custody or joint custody.

Your rights as a parent are based on the best interest of your children. It’s best for you to file for custody in your favor. However, if your child’s best interest would be served by being with one parent over the other or in a different custody arrangement, you can file for custody in the other parent’s favor, too.

The “best interest” standard is subjective. In making his or her decision, the judge is supposed to consider factors like:

Whether you have a good relationship with your ex-spouse to encourage healthy family relationships and foster healthy parent-child relationships.

Whether your ex is likely to harm your child.

Whether you’ve attempted to resolve the dispute between you and your ex

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