ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Learn More About Child Custody Arrangements

Updated on April 1, 2012
Child custody decisions are made by judges in a family court. The decisions are based on the best interests of the children.
Child custody decisions are made by judges in a family court. The decisions are based on the best interests of the children. | Source

No matter how badly divorcing parents treat each other, generally parents want what is best for their children.

Of course, there are exceptions to this, but parents who seek to minimize the negative effects of divorce on their children will often come together to create a workable child custody arrangement.

This can provide the best possible environment for physical and emotional development.

Problems arise when divorcing parents seek to put their own interests first, or refuse to compromise in an effort to further hurt the other parent. In situations like this, it is the role of the family court to step in and help the parents resolve their conflicts as far as child custody goes.

The struggle to establish a new partnership as parents of the children is ongoing, but a detailed child custody arrangement can be a helpful tool in providing a stable routine for everyone.

Custodial Parent

The family court will determine a custodial parent in most cases. This is the parent with whom the children will live with primarily and the home that is considered the permanent residence, such as for school attendance.

This status can also be known as the custodial parent or the domicilary parent. This parent is generally awarded sole physical custody.

One or both parents can be awarded legal custody of the children. Legal custody means that one or both parents can make decisions regarding the children’s upbringing.

Sole legal custody limits this ability to one parent, while joint legal custody requires parents to consult each other for these major decisions, such as schooling or religious education, for example.

Children thrive when they have involved, caring parents eager to care for them physically and emotionally.
Children thrive when they have involved, caring parents eager to care for them physically and emotionally. | Source

Non-custodial Parent

The non-custodial parent is entitled to scheduled parenting time, also called visitation time, with the children. As part of the divorce proceedings, a detailed schedule should be created by both parents that outline where their children will be on any given day.

Holidays, vacation days and regular days can all be divided up between the two parents.

A parenting time schedule will only be approved by a family court judge if it reflects the best interests of the children. Therefore, it’s important that parents create a schedule that is age appropriate and doesn’t shuffle the children around too much or force them to miss out on important traditions and activities.

If one parent moves out of state, that generally means that non-custodial status will be awarded. In those cases, an out-of-state custody arrangment ensures as much visitation as is reasonable, based on distance, ages of children and the ability of the parents to cover travel costs.

The non-custodial parent generally doesn’t receive physical custody, but often has joint legal custody. In this case, the non-custodial parent has as much say in the raising of the children on major issues as the custodial parent.

Contributing Factors to Custody

In determining child custody arrangements, family court judges review a long list of factors that influence their decisions. Each case is different, and requires a thorough review of the unique conditions of each parent and each child.

Some of the factors that influence child custody decisions are:

  • The age and maturity of each child
  • The emotional bond between each child and each parent
  • The children’s environment prior to the separation
  • The medical or special needs of each child
  • The capacity of each parent to care for the children
  • The mental and physical health of each family member
  • The school and community ties for each child
  • The preference of each child, if they are old enough to express it
  • The distance between residences
  • The willingness of each parent to encourage the children’s relationship with the other
  • The previous responsibilities of each parent prior to separation
  • The moral and ethical behavior of each parent

Regardless of what kind of child custody arrangement the parents agree to, it's important to remember that once the agreement has been approved by the family court, it is binding. In order for everyone to move forward and adjust to the new lifestyle, parents must take the lead in maintaining positive interaction, supportive parenting and a stable environment.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • daisyjae profile image


      6 years ago from Canada

      This is all new to me and i am finding your hubs helpful. Thanks for writing them.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)