Experienced Boise Child Custody Lawyers
As the oldest and largest law firm in Meridian, Idaho, Foley Freeman has helped many southern Idaho clients successfully navigate the divorce process. Child custody can be one of the most difficult matters to work through and resolve upon divorce, but a child custody lawyer from our firm can help ensure that your children’s interests and your rights are protected.
Factors Used to Determine Child Custody in Idaho
Idaho courts make child custody decisions based on a child’s best interests. Factors weighed to determine a child’s best interests include:
- The desires of the parents
- The desires of the child
- The interaction or relationship of the child to his or her parents and his or her siblings
- The child’s adjustment to his or her home, school, and community
- The character and circumstances of all individuals involved
- The need to promote continuity and stability in the child’s life
- Any history of domestic violence, particularly if it was committed in the presence of the child
While a court will determine child custody when necessary, parents are encouraged to work out their own custody agreements for the court’s approval. Parents often feel more satisfied with negotiated custody agreements than if the decision is made solely by the court, and courts want families to enjoy custody arrangements that are both successful and fair. Our family law attorneys have helped many clients obtain favorable custody arrangements in as many unique situations, from the most amicable to the most contentious divorce.
Custody Arrangements in Idaho
Idaho law distinguishes between legal and physical custody when making and approving child custody arrangements. Legal custody refers to decision-making rights, responsibilities, and authority relating to a child’s health, education, and general welfare, and physical custody refers to where a child will reside. A court may award joint legal custody, joint physical custody, or both based on the needs of the child and the capabilities of the parents.
Idaho courts operate on a presumption that joint custody is in a child’s best interests unless there is a history of domestic violence in the family. Joint physical custody does not necessarily mean that the child must spend equal amounts of time with each parent, but rather that each parent is awarded significant periods of time during which the child is in the parent’s care and supervision.
In shared custody situations, a visitation schedule outlines how time will be divided between the parents. In most cases, there will be a custodial parent and a non-custodial parent in order to create and maintain stability for the child. Court ordered visitation plans generally allow the non-custodial parent to spend every other weekend as well as some weekdays and certain holidays with the child, but parents can submit other visitation arrangements for the court’s approval.
Seek Advice & Counsel from a Knowledgeable Child Custody Lawyer
If you live in the Boise area and have a child custody concern, the attorneys at Foley Freeman can provide the answers and representation you need to achieve a positive result for you and your children. Please contact our offices to schedule a consultation with an experienced Idaho lawyer.