The most important thing during a divorce is to make sure that any children involved are cared for emotionally, physically, and in a monetary sense. The amount of questions that need to be answered to make sure this is possible are endless. Things such as custody, child support, who is making the major decisions, and where the children will go in the case of the death of a parent are just a few of them.
The difference between guardianship and custody
Quite often people think the terms guardianship and custody are just two terms to describe the same thing. Child custody is a referral to parental care of a child whereas guardianship is a person, who is not a parent, that the court appoints to take care of a child like a parent would do.
When deciding custody, the court can offer full custody to one parent or joint custody. Joint custody is where both parents are responsible for spending time and caring for the child and are both allowed to see the child. Which route to take is decided by the court, in order to make sure that the decision made is the right one for the child. Commonly the court awards shared custody with time spent with both parents, for example, the week at the mothers and the weekend with the father.
Guardianship is awarded to a third-party by the court when there are extenuating circumstances. This could be due to death, or illness, or a parent. It can also be awarded by the court if the parent is not living up to their obligations and acting in the best interest of the child for example, in cases of child neglect or child abuse. Very often when guardianship is awarded it is in line with a parent also being awarded custody in order to act in the best interest of the child. This third-party guardian is always a willing close relative who has the care of the child as their priority.
Decision making when it comes to the child:
Making important decisions as far as a child is concerned is the biggest reason which there is custody or guardianship is involved. Because a parent is normally a natural guardian they are allowed full-right to make every important decision that is linked to the child and their well-being.
Guardianship, unlike custody, does not come with such leeway and gives certain restrictions as to what can be and cannot be decided for the child. One of the decisions a guardian is allowed to make are the decisions that pertain to the day to day life of a child.
The court will take into account all the points that are put forward by the parents but will ultimately make the decision regarding custody. The parents, however, are allowed to appoint the guardian of their own choice.
Child custody and guardianship issues can not only be complicated but painful on an emotional level. A Salt Lake City divorce attorney will help you through these difficult times. A Salt Lake City divorce attorney will ensure that you receive the best outcome for your children. For advice from a Salt Lake City divorce attorney, please contact our experienced lawyers at Emy A. Cordano at 801-804-5152.