Every marriage features its own special configuration of strengths and weaknesses, and not all couples who face serious struggles may actually need a divorce. However, some couples who may not need to divorce may still benefit from some legal guidance to help them re-assess the basis of their relationship and the way the marriage functions. Other couples may find that divorce is the best fit for them, but they simply need time to prepare carefully without remaining in each other's space creating conflict.
If you hope to adopt a child, you will eventually need to decide which style of adoption you wish to use as you grow your family. In general, parents may use either an open adoption, which allows parents greater flexibility to keep a birth family accessible to an adopted child, or a closed adoption, which provides greater privacy to families who do not wish to keep those lines of relationship open.
These days, families take many shapes and sizes, and often families may form in surprising ways. One form of family becoming increasingly common is adoption of a child by a stepparent. Regardless of what leads a stepparent to pursue legal adoption, the good news is that stepparent adoption is generally simpler and more straightforward than other types of adoption.
Seeking custody of a child who is not your biological child poses some important challenges you must address head-on if you hope to win custody of the child you love. Custody cases can vary wildly, depending on the individual factors at play in the situation. In some instances, nonparental custody is an obvious solution for a child in great need of stability, while in many other cases, a court may believe that the child's biological parents still offer a reasonably safe and beneficial home for the child.
As a parent, you want the best for your child, even if you are no longer with the child's other parent. However, child support orders regularly become heavier burdens than a parent can reasonably bear. This can happen a number of ways. A court may hand down an order that is unreasonable during the initial custody dispute, or your circumstances may change, making a once reasonable order very difficult to honor.
If you are a stepparent, you may feel that you are between a rock and a hard place when it comes to making decisions about raising the child you love. Even if you operate as the father or mother of child from day to day, his or her biological parents still retain the lion's share of legal authority over the parenting decisions.
When it comes to gaining or losing custody of a child you love, it is important to understand that "custody" is not a single monolithic thing, but rather a term that refers to a number of different types of custody arrangements that can vary greatly. Different types of custody imply different rights and privileges, and understanding the differences is key to creating a truly fair custody plan.
Child custody is one of the most important issues couples have to work out in the divorce process. Ideally, couples are able to set their differences aside and come up with a mutually acceptable solution that best serves the needs of the child. For one reason or another, many couples are not able to do this, and require the intervention of the court to resolve the matter.