CHILD CUSTODY

Of all the areas in family law, child custody cases tend to be the most difficult.  When parents divorce or separate and they have disputes about what is in their child’s best interest, the courts intervene. This can often turn an uncontested divorce into a contested divorce, and an attorney is invaluable in sorting these issues out. As a parent, you want to make sure that your child is protected. Having a skilled child custody attorney can make a world of difference in the outcome of your case. At Marcus, Christian, Hardee & Davies, LLP, we aim to help our clients fight for their child’s best interest.

At our firm, we take on cases and legal matters throughout the Treasure Valley. No matter how complex or difficult your divorce may seem, a lawyer at our firm can help. We understand what you are going through and will provide you with the legal support and representation you need in order to work out the child custody and child support issues you are facing.

Through mediation, a divorcing, divorced or unmarried couple is assisted in reaching an agreement that is determined wholly by the couple and reasonable to both parties, with the help of a neutral professional called a mediator. The mediator will help both people discuss their needs and wants so that an acceptable agreement can be forged without the need to go to trial. If you would like more information about mediation, a helpful consultation and guidance from an experienced divorce attorney is advised.


CHILD CUSTODY CASES IN IDAHO

In Idaho and most other states, there are two forms of joint custody, legal and physical.

Section 32-717B.   Joint Custody. –(1) “Joint custody” means an order awarding custody of the minor child or children to both parents and providing that physical custody shall be shared by the parents in such a way as to assure the child or children of frequent and continuing contact with both parents.  The court may award either joint physical custody or joint legal custody or both as between the parents or parties as the court determines is for the best interests of the minor child or children.  If the court declines to enter an order awarding joint custody, the court shall state in its decision the reasons for denial of an award of joint custody.

(2) “Joint physical custody’ means an order awarding each of the parents significant periods of time in which a child resides with or is under the care and supervision of each of the parents or parties.

Joint physical custody shall be shared by the parents in such a way to assure the child a frequent and continuing contact with both parents but does not necessarily mean the child’s time with each parent should be exactly the same in length nor does it necessarily mean the child should be alternating back and forth over certain periods of time between each parent.

The actual amount of time with each parent shall be determined by the court.

(3) “Joint legal custody” means a judicial determination that the parents or parties are required to share the decision-making rights, responsibilities and authority relating to the health, education and general welfare of a child or children.

(4) Except as provided in subsection (5), of this section, absent a preponderance of the evidence to the contrary, there shall be a presumption that joint custody is in the best interests of a minor child or children.

(5) There shall be a presumption that joint custody is not in the best interests of a minor child if one (1) of the parents is found by the court to be a habitual perpetrator of domestic violence as defined in section 39-6303, Idaho Code.

The Best Interest of the Child: Child Custody Agreements in Idaho

Idaho Code 32-717 Custody of Children – Best Interest

  1. In an action for divorce the Court may, before and after judgment, give such direction for the custody, care and education of the children of the marriage as may seem necessary or proper in the best interests of the children. The Court shall consider all relevant factors, which may include:
  2. The wishes of the child’s parent or parents as to his/her custody;
  3. The wishes of the child as to his/her custodian;
  4. The interaction and interrelationship of the child with his/her parent or parents, and his/her siblings;
  5. The child’s adjustment to his/her home, school and community;
  6. The mental and physical health and integrity of all individuals involved;
  7. The need to promote continuity and stability in the life of the child; and
  8. Domestic violence as defined in section 39-6303, Idaho Code, whether or not in the presence of the child.

This content serves as an example of the various legal and factual issues you will need to explore with an experienced Attorney at Marcus, Christian, Hardee and Davies, LLC.  Call us today for a free consultation at (208)-342-3563!


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