Child Custody Faqs

If you and your spouse are divorcing, and you have children, the divorce can become exponentially more difficult. When custody and child support issues are being discussed by divorcing parents, emotions can run high. Idaho’s child custody laws are much the same in many ways as other states, in that the best interests of the children are always the primary concern of the court.

The courts will then determine where the children will primarily live—which is known as “physical custody.” The relevant factors considered by the courts (assuming the parents cannot come to a mutually-agreeable custody decision) include the following:

  • What each parent would like to see as far as child custody and the proposed parenting plans
  • Whether either parent has the intention of relocating following the divorce
  • Each parent’s physical and mental health
  • Whether there has been any history of abuse between the parents, or between the parents and the children
  • If the children are older, the wishes of the children
  • How the children will adjust to a change in home, school and/or community
  • The relationships between the parents, children, and siblings, as well as extended family members, such as grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins
  • Which parent’s proposed plan will contribute the most stability to the children’s lives

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Legal custody is when the court determines how the parent will share—or which parent will be awarded—decision-making rights and responsibilities for the children. This covers even to the very basic decisions such as children’s education, the religion to which the child will be raised in, and physical custody (where the child/children will live).

Joint physical custody is defined as having each parent a significant period of time for the child to reside with him or her. However, it may not be necessarily equal for both parent.

Sole custody, on the other hand, is an arrangement where only one of the parents has the authority and right to make a decision to the child’s welfare – may it be health, education, and etc.

Given that child support payment and visitation are two legally independent matters, a parent may not refuse to cut back the other parent’s visitation even if he or she wasn’t able to comply with his payment for child support.

In a regular basis, NO. However, given that the child is mature enough to make sound reasoning and independent preferences, either parents may ask the judge to speak with the child in private.

If this scenario happens, both parties maybe ordered to undergo mediation to settle agreement. If both parties still cannot agree, the court will summon a custody order through a court hearing in which both sides are required to address their testimony and present evidence.

Based in child custody laws governing in the state of Idaho, there is no age limit for a child to decide which parent he or she wants to live with. The court usually considers the child’s wishes provided that the child is mature enough to make sound reasoning and independent preferences in parenting schedule.