How to Divorce & Give Up Custody

By Teo Spengler

Life is full of hard choices, especially during a divorce in which property issues frequently prove less emotional than questions about child custody. If you decide that it is in your children's best interests to live with their other parent, you can waive custody in a divorce settlement agreement or in court filings.

Types of Custody

Before you begin to talk about giving up custody, it is important to understand the two types of custody: physical and legal. Physical custody refers to which parent the children live with. One parent can have sole physical custody or the parents can share custody, and move the children between two houses. Legal custody refers to the authority to make important decisions for the children such as which schools they attend. One parent or both parents can have legal custody.

Waiving Physical Custody

When a parent talks about waiving custody, he usually means physical custody. Circumstances may prevent a parent from having or sharing physical custody, such as when one parent is in the military and deployed in a war zone. If you decide that you cannot have your children living with you, you can waive physical custody, as part of a divorce agreement with your spouse. Alternatively, you can complete your dissolution forms to indicate that you do not seek custody nor oppose your spouse's request for sole physical custody. Expect the court to order you to pay child support, however, to assist your spouse in financing the children's needs.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Visitation Rights

Divorce is a parting of the ways between spouses. Unfortunately, it also often represents a rupture of the relationship between the children and the parent who does not have custody. However, a noncustodial parent can maintain regular contact with his kids through visitation or parenting time. If you are waiving physical custody in a settlement agreement, negotiate a visitation schedule with your spouse and make it part of your parenting plan. If you waive custody in your court filing, be sure to ask the court for reasonable visitation. If your spouse opposes the visitation you are seeking, divorce mediation can be helpful.

Legal Custody

You are not obliged to waive legal custody just because it is impractical for the children to live with you. Requesting joint legal custody means that you will have a say in every important decision made for your kids, including choices about their education and medical treatment. If, for some reason you also decide to waive legal custody, you can do so in a settlement agreement or in a court filing.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
How to Get Child Custody If a Parent Refuses to Sign the Papers
 

References

Resources

Related articles

How to Obtain Child Custody in New Mexico

If you're divorcing your child's other parent, you not only have to prepare to live separate lives, but you must also figure out how to parent from two separate homes. When you file for divorce in New Mexico, you and your spouse must resolve any and all custody issues before the divorce can be finalized. If you are unable to reach an agreement on your own, the court will step in and make the decision for you, choosing a custody arrangement that serves the best interests of your child.

Rights of a Sole Custodial Parent

Divorcing parents often fight hardest over child custody, and you may ask the court for sole custody of your child. Child custody laws vary somewhat by state, but courts have flexibility to divide custody in a way that is in the best interests of your child. If this means you receive sole custody, you will have more rights than if you shared custody with your ex-spouse.

How to File for Child Custody in Ohio

In child custody proceedings in Ohio, parents must demonstrate their proposed custody arrangement is in their child's best interests. If you want to seek custody of your child, you must show that you can provide a stable, healthy, loving environment for your child. Except in extreme cases involving domestic violence or child abuse, judges almost always grant visitation to the noncustodial parent.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

How to File a Petition for Child Custody in Tennessee

There are two ways to file for child custody in Tennessee: via divorce and through a petition for custody (or petition ...

How to File a Responsive Declaration For Child Custody

By responding to a complaint or petition for custody, you have the opportunity to tell the court your side of the ...

What Does Sole Custody Mean in Tennessee?

Divorce is never easy, especially when children are involved. Whether you're negotiating custody with your soon-to-be ...

How to Petition the Court for Custody

Custody of a child generally gives an adult the right to provide for the minor's daily care and education. This custody ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED