The parent who gets sole physical custody will not be allowed to move out of state with the children without informing the other parent.
Divorce rates have been going down in Montana over the past decade, but that is no consolation to those who see their marriage coming to an end. And if you have children it’s not really an end, you cannot really go your separate ways since you’ll always be tied by the little ones. Even if things went sour between you, the adults, you need to put on a brave face and make arrangements for the children. The best solution is to seek impartial advice from reliable Montana child custody lawyers who can help you draw up a parenting plan.
Things are already unpleasant at this point, and agreeing on a parenting plan can help you avoid a nasty court battle in which there are no real winners. Everyone stands to get hurt, and it’s the children that suffer the most.
Montana divorce laws are designed with one goal in mind, protecting the children’s best interests. Children need stability in their lives, predictability and frequent contact with both parents. To ensure that the parents must decide on two major aspects – physical custody and legal custody.
Physical custody establishes where the children will live, sometimes defined as residential scheduling under Montana laws. Sole physical custody means that the children will live with one parent full time, while the other gets visitation rights. When you draw up a parenting plan you need to be very specific on these issues – how many weekends does the other parent get, how are you going to divide the children’s’ holidays and school breaks, etc.
The parent who gets sole physical custody will not be allowed to move out of state with the children without informing the other parent. In this case, the move warrants a modification of the parenting plan and you’ll have to go to court for that.
Do the children get a say in all this? If you talk to an experienced Billings child custody lawyer they will explain that the judge will often hear the child out, but will not base their decision solely on the minor’s wishes.
Group of teenagers wearing backpacks walking away from camera; image by Rich Smith, via Unsplash.com.
Legal custody refers to who’s going to make important decisions for the child, concerning education, health or religious bringing up. If one parent is granted sole legal custody they will get to decide what school the child attends, what medical treatment they need, etc. The other parent has no say in that.
Joint legal custody means that both parents get a say in their children’s future, but this can only work if they can actually talk to each other and resolve whatever differences they might have on any single aspect.
Child custody lawyers with many years of experience in this field can help you come up with a comprehensive plan for your children’s future. You can present this plan to the judge and they’ll approve it without modifications if they find that the children’s best interests are well protected.
For the future, you can have this parenting plan modified if there are major changes in the health or financial situation of either parent, but you will, again, have to have a judge sign off on it.