Child Custody, Access and Welfare Principal

During a divorce, the main focus of the couple is in the custody of the child. Child custody is the most important decision for the divorcing couples as they have to decide as to with whom the child will live and how often will the child be able to meet the other parent. The couples who are going for Family Mediation in have to make a decision about the custody of the child. But first, the couples have to understand what child custody really is and what all are involved during the process.

Child custody is a purely legal concept and there are four different types of custody orders which have to be made by the divorcing couples –

1. Sole Custody Order – the custodial parent will have the right to take the major decisions for the child without any involvement of the other parent in the decision-making process.

2. Joint Custody Order – both the parents have to make the decision about the child with a joint agreement. This means that they have to agree with each other on the decisions being made. If there is no agreement between the parents, either one of them will have to apply in the court for the determination of the disputed issues.

3. Hybrid Order – this is a sole custody order as well with a slight change. The custodial parent has to take the suggestions of the other non-custodial parent while taking decisions on some particular matters.

4. Split Custodian order – this is when the custody of one or more siblings is granted to one parent and the custody of the other siblings has been granted to the other parent. The aim of this order is to help those families which have more than one child so that all the siblings can get the love of the parents.

These were the main custody orders which have to be kept in mind even by those divorcing couples who are going through the process of Family Mediation in .

As far as access is concerned, the main starting point for this decision is a presumption that the child would be able to meet the other parent as well as it will be helpful for the child to enjoy the love of both the parents. The quantum of access is dependent on various factors like the needs of the child, the wishes of the child, the previous contact of the non-custodial parent with the child and how the relationship between the child and the non-custodial parent has been in the past. All these factors have been designed for the safety of child from all kinds of emotional or physical abuse and helping to improve the relationship between the child and the non-custodial parent.

There are different kinds of access period which are as follows –

1. Weekday access
2. Weekend access
3. Public Holiday access
4. School holiday access
5. Other special occasions like Father’s Day, Mother’s Day and Birthdays of the child or the parents

These are the different kinds of access periods.

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