Caldwell, Idaho is a city with a 2010 population of almost 47,000. Caldwell is the county seat of Canyon County, Idaho, considered a part of the Boise metropolitan area. Caldwell is situated along a natural passageway to the Inland and Pacific Northwest. Australian, Armenian, Brazilian, and European explorers and traders followed Native American tribes from the west coast and northern Idaho. During the Civil War, the discovery of gold in the mountains of Idaho brought many new settlers to the area. The valley of Caldwell is surrounded by the Owyhee, Weiser, and Boise mountain ranges, rising to a steep 8,000-9,000 foot elevation.
The slopes of the valley are partially covered with sagebrush, giving way to chaparral, then ridges of juniper, spruce, pine, and fir trees. Recreational activities are the highlight of the entire state of Idaho, and Caldwell is no exception. River rafters, skiers, hot springs lovers, trail riders, hikers, rock-hounds, and many more will find Caldwell, Idaho a delight. Caldwell has a pleasant mix of the old and the new. Some family and couple activities in Caldwell include The Terrace Drive-in Theater, the Requiem Haunted House, Caldwell Winter Wonderland, The Ranch, Houston Vineyards, and Idaho Wine Tours.
If you are in the middle of a child custody dispute in Caldwell, it can be helpful for you to know what you should expect. If one parent is planning to move away, or one parent wants a larger role in the child’s life, child custody may become even more complex.
Idaho bases custody decisions on the best interests of the child, going into the issue with no preconceived ideas about which parent “deserves” custody. In other words, it is never presumed that the mother would be the better parent, or that the father would be the better parent until all factors are considered, and it becomes clear which custody arrangement would be in the child’s best interests. The factors the judge will consider when deciding custody include the following:
After considering all the above factors, the judge will decide on legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to decisions made on behalf of the child, usually in the areas of education, religion, and healthcare. Parents will generally share legal custody unless their relationship is so contentious that they would be unable to discuss these issues and come to the best solution for the child. Physical custody refers to where the child actually lives.
If one parent is given sole physical custody and the other visitation, then the child might spend weekends with the non-custodial parent, or any other times that work out for all those involved. Some parents will receive joint custody, which can work well under certain circumstances. For joint custody to work, the parents must be able to communicate well with one another—it probably helps if the parents live fairly close to one another as well.
Judges will generally presume that the child will benefit from regular contact with both parents, however, there are certain circumstances that could result in a parent being awarded no visitation or only supervised visitation. A parent who is deemed by the court to be unfit could lose custody of their child. “Unfit” means the parent is unable to provide a safe, secure, nurturing home for the child. The lack of a stable environment places the child at risk for harm, therefore is not in the child’s best interests.
Parents could also be determined unfit if she or he has been abusive or neglectful, has a mental disturbance, is addicted to drugs or alcohol, or has anger management issues. Physical, emotional, or mental abuse, may not only lose a parent custody but the right to visitation time as well. A parent who has been convicted for a crime against the child will almost certainly lose custody and visitation, and those convicted for murder, manslaughter, or aggravated manslaughter may also lose custody, and possibly visitation as well.
It is really important that you have an experienced child custody lawyer on your side from beginning to end. Your attorney will listen carefully to what you would like to happen in the custody case, then will consider your child’s best interests. Your attorney will fight for your rights and for your future and the future of your child. Having a highly-skilled Caldwell child custody lawyer in your corner can truly make a positive difference in this complex situation.
At Idaho Divorce Law Firm, we can protect your parenting rights through the child custody process. We serve primarily in the following cities:
We are proud to serve families throughout Caldwell and surrounding cities in Idaho such as: