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Child Custody Guide for Divorced Parents – What You Should Know

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*A family breakdown and consequent divorce is a painful and challenging situation for all its participants. Adults find it a little easier to deal with their feelings and plan further actions than to figure out how to take care of children.

The results of a recent survey by onlinedivorce.com show that 35% of all divorced couples have at least one minor child, and 19% have two or more children. In 16% of divorces, one of the parents moves to another state. And 33% of the time, the couple lives in different cities after the divorce.

Parents’ rights and obligations after divorce

Safeguarding the interests of children should be the primary concern of their parents. Family Law in the USA establishes equal rights and responsibilities regarding joint minor children. It means that both parents can take care of the child and make decisions regarding their life, development, and education.

When exercising their rights, parents must consider a child’s mental and physical health and create a healthy environment. All issues related to upbringing and education can be decided jointly by the parents based on the children’s best interests and their opinion.

Divorce does not affect the child’s rights in any way. Unless there are specific custody arrangements that forbid a parent to communicate with a child, they can participate in their upbringing and resolve various issues connected to their health or education. The parent with whom the child lives (a custodian) cannot get in the way of a child’s interaction with the other party if such communication is not harmful or dangerous.

A non-custodian has the right to:

  • Communicate with a child;
  • Participate in the upbringing of the child;
  • Solve issues related to education, health, development, etc.

In the best scenario, a custodian must facilitate frequent contact of a child with the other parent because it is beneficial for the child’s self-esteem and adequate perception of the current situation.

What are the types of child custody?

Legal custody implies making important life decisions concerning minor children. Such decisions may include choosing a school or a doctor, medical and orthodontic treatment, counseling, psychotherapy, and religion.

Physical custody establishes where the child lives and who handles their day-to-day activities. If one of the parents has physical custody, that parent’s home will usually be the child’s legal residence (domicile). The time during which each party provides housing and care is determined by court order and provisions in a parenting plan.

Joint legal and joint physical custody is the constant participation of both parents in the child’s life, spending an equal amount of time together. Joint physical custody is only possible on the condition of close territorial proximity of parental houses. For example, minor children live in a house with his mother, while the father takes them for weekends and holidays. It means that the father participates in his kids’ life on an ongoing basis. The exact schedule must be agreed upon in a parenting plan.

How is the issue of custody resolved in a divorce?

The parents’ best option is to agree on custody arrangements before the court hearing where their agreement will be taken into account by the court when making a final decision. If the parents cannot settle the matter amicably, a judge will determine the custody and visitation schedule based on the relevant circumstances. The court considers each parent’s ability to take care of the child, the upbringing, education, and development conditions. Each parent’s employment also matters as does their earning capacity, living conditions, and environment.

In many states, family courts consider the child’s emotional connection with each parent, giving preference to those who cared most for the child during the marriage. Recent psychological developments have emphasized the importance of maintaining interaction with a more caring parent. The findings determined it influences the extent of successful socialization, including physical and mental conditions.

How to draft a custody agreement?

A joint voluntary agreement about custody is always better than a court decision, which may inadvertently infringe on one of the parties’ interests. That is why many divorcing parents conclude a settlement agreement where they determine custody arrangements and a visitation schedule. Besides, the court is also interested in such an outcome and obliged to take full measures to encourage this agreement.

A divorced couple can reach an agreement in two forms:

  1. Written in each state, there are particular forms for a parental plan in uncontested divorces, which are prepared in several copies and then attached to the case.
  2. Verbal during a trial, it is necessary to make a joint oral statement about the readiness to conclude an amicable agreement. After that:
  • the court adjourns the session and gives the parties time to draw up the document;
  • a verbal agreement of the parties is immediately drawn up in a protocol without creating a separate form.

The settlement agreement’s legality and its content are subject to mandatory verification by the court for its approval.

The document must reflect:

  1. Determination of the child’s place of residence (physical custody arrangements);
  2. The procedure for a child’s communication with a non-custodial parent (detailed meeting schedule, participation in education, decisions on medical treatment, upbringing, etc.);
  3. The parents’ financial obligations (determine the amount of financial support for basic needs and medical costs).

A considerable change in any parent’s living conditions or circumstances can be a reason to adjust custody arrangements.

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What if you live in another city?

When a family suffers a breakdown, ex-spouses have to resolve several issues, including which parent the child will live, communication plans with the other parent, which parent will be responsible for everyday decisions, etc.

According to the law, a non-custodial parent can communicate with the child, participate in the upbringing, and keep an eye on their well-being (in joint legal custody). The custodial parent should not interfere with the child’s communication with the other parent.

Determining the place of communication becomes an issue when the ex-spouses live in different cities. Therefore, they need to decide in advance on a meeting schedule and where they will be held.

Keep in mind that if a non-custodial parent lives in another city, it is most likely that communication will be possible only on weekends and during vacation time because of the child’s daily routine includes school and after-school activities.

The parent can also talk with the child by phone, Skype, or other Internet resources and social networks. Currently, there are countless ways for continual communication via various applications. The main idea is for the child always to feel support, attention, and care.

Final thoughts

The issue of child custody arises when parents get divorced. Trying to develop fair and equal guardianship can be challenging for both parents and children. When resolving custody disputes, one should be guided by common sense and the desire to create favorable conditions for your kids rather than by emotions of hostility towards the ex-spouse. In this case, compromising and sacrificing one’s pride is the only way to soften the shock of divorce.

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Black Celebrity Gossip - Gossip

Mother of Jada Pinkett Smith Reveals She Had ‘Non-consenual Sex’ with Jada’s Father [VIDEO]

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*Jada Pinkett-Smith her daughter Willow and her mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris are ready to upack sexual consent on Red Table Talk.

In this week’s episode of Pinkett-Smith’s Facebook watch series, the actress learns a disturbing truth about her parents’ marriage.

“So, Gam, you feel like nowhere in your history in regards to sexual intimacy have you felt like you had a sexual experience that was not necessarily consensual,” Pinkett Smith says to her mother.

Banfield-Norris nodded, saying, “I have, I have, but it was also with my husband. Your dad, actually.” She added, “So that’s really gray.”

Pinkett Smith replies, “You’re basicall y saying you had non-consensual sex with my father,” to which her mother nodded.

READ MORE: August Alsina Says He ‘Absolutely’ Still Loves Jada Pinkett Smith

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As noted by PEOPLE, Banfield-Norris married Robsol Pinkett Jr after she became pregnant in high school with Jada. The two divorced after several months. Robosol died in 2010. 

Pinkett Smith previously opened up about the domestic violence that her mother endured during the marriage. 

“I knew that my mother and my father had a very violent relationship early on,” she said in a previous Red Table Talk episode. “She has a couple scars on her body that, as a child, I was just curious. I was like, ‘Oh, Mommy, what’s that? What’s that?’ … This will be the first time that Willow’s actually heard these stories about her grandfather who she knew.”

Bruce Willis and Demi Moore’s daughter Rumer Willis, 32, also participated in the discussion about consent. 

“When I lost my virginity, when I was 18, I was more concerned with the shame that I was feeling at not having done it. I was not abused or wasn’t raped… but I didn’t say yes,” Rumer said. “I wasn’t gung-ho about it. But I also didn’t say no.

“I just let it happen. He was older and took advantage, and didn’t check in. That’s where I feel like the man’s responsibility is. No means no, but what if you can’t say no?” 

Watch the episode via the clip above.

“Red Table Talk” airs Tuesdays at 9 a.m. PT/12 p.m. ET on Facebook Watch.

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Samuel L. Jackson and Daughter Zoe Jackson to Produce Series About Gang Culture

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*Samuel L. Jackson and his daughter Zoe Jackson are producing a docuseries about marginalized communities and gang culture.

The duo will partner with Ample Entertainment for the self-shot series, titled. “Life on the Edge.”

Here’s more about the project from Deadline:

The production team will use Deepfake technology and self-shot footage to capture the day-to-day life of individuals in the shadows of some of the most notoriously violent groups in the world, all as they struggle to live life despite their circumstances.

“No one has ever looked at these groups from a fresh perspective – from the inside out. These are young people trying to find a place in a chaotic world up against extraordinary odds. I can’t think of stories more worthy of telling,” said Samuel L. Jackson and Zoe Jackson in a statement.

READ MORE: ‘It’s Gut Wrenching’: Samuel L. Jackson Opens Up About Chadwick Boseman on ‘Tamron Hall’ (Watch)

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“We could not be more excited for this partnership and the chance to skip the stereotypes and get real,” added Ample co-founder Ari Mark.

Zoe Jackson’s credits include serving as a producer on “Project Runway” and “Top Chef.” Ample Entertainment is producer of the Facebook Watch series 9 Months with Courteney Cox.

Samuel and Zoe are the latest father and daughter to join forces in Hollywood. 

We previously reported, Ludacris partnered with Netflix for his new CG animated series titled “Karma’s World.” The streaming giant has ordered 40 11-minute episodes of the series inspired by the rapper’s oldest daughter, Karma Bridges. 

The series will follow a 10-year-old Black girl named Karma Grant, who has big dreams of becoming a music star and offers young viewers a lot of valuable lessons along the way, per Deadline.

Meanwhile, Jamie Foxx and his daughter Corinne have also inked a deal with Netflix for a series starring the actor. 

The comedy is titled “Dad Stop Embarrassing Me,” and is inspired by Foxx’s relationship with his daughter. 

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Nicki Minaj Reveals Gender of Newborn Baby: ‘I Am So In Love with My Son’

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Nicki Minaj

*Nicki Miaj took to Instagram on Thursday to reveal the gender of her newborn baby.

The hip-hop star gave birth to her first child with husband Kenneth Petty on Sept. 30, in Los Angeles. She announced on social media this week that she welcomed a bouncing baby boy. Nicki also shared the congratulatory messages from some of her fellow artists, including Beyonce. 

“Thank you to Queen B, Kim & Ye, Riccardo Tisci, Winnie, Karol & everyone who sent well wishes during this time. It meant the world to me,” wrote Minaj on Instagram. “I am so grateful & in love with my son. Madly in love,” she added. “My favorite liddo boy in the whole wide world.”

READ MORE: She’s Done it! Nicki Minaj Has Given Birth to First Child

Her post shows a handwritten card from Beyoncé, which read, “Onika, Welcome to motherhood. God bless you and your family. B.” The singer shares three children with husband JAY-Z.

Another note from parents-of-four Kim Kardashian and Kanye West read, “Congrats! We love you! Kim + Kanye.” 

Nicki announced her pregnancy back in July, posting a series of photos showing her looking at least 6 months along and captioning one post, “#Preggers.” She did the photoshoot with famed photographer David LaChappelle.

We previously reported… Nicki has been eager to become a mom for quite some time … remember, last September she claimed she was retiring from the rap game to start a family. She eventually got back into music but also got married to her childhood friend.

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