Those who live in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho who are facing a divorce with minor children involved will appreciate knowing what they should expect from a legal standpoint. If you and your ex parted ways long ago, but changing circumstances require revisiting your custody arrangement, you may also have many questions.
No matter what your situation, the Idaho courts base custody on the best interests of the child. There is no presumption that the mother should have custody, only the presumption that, whenever possible, children benefit from regular contact with both parents. The best interests of the child dictate the judge will consider several factors when deciding custody, including:
There are two types of custody the judge will consider—physical, and legal. Legal custody dictates which parent will make big decisions regarding the child. These decisions can include education decisions, religious decisions, and healthcare decisions. Generally, the judge will award legal custody to both parents, unless they are simply unable to communicate with one another.
Physical custody dictates where the child primarily lives. One parent may be granted sole physical custody and the other visitation, or both parents could have joint custody. Joint custody is, theoretically, splitting the child’s time 50/50, but rarely works out this perfectly. Both parents will be asked to submit a parenting plan which thoroughly details all the issues related to shared parenting. These issues include pickup and dropoff times and places, where the child will spend holidays and summer vacation, whether one or both parents will attend school and extracurricular activities, and much more. The parenting plan may need changes as the child gets older since older children typically have more outside activities.
When parents jointly request a custody modification, the court will generally approve such a request. If one parent is requesting a custody modification, that parent has the burden of proof to establish why such a modification is in the best interests of the child. The judge will require the parent requesting the change to explain what has changed to warrant the modification, ensuring no trauma or upheaval will be caused to the child because of the modification.
Coeur d’Alene is a city in northwest Idaho, known for its water sports on Lake Coeur d’Alene. Those who love the outdoors will also enjoy the trails in the Canfield Mountain Natural Area, as well as the Coeur d’ Alene National Forest. The lakeside park and Beach offers families a playground, as well as numerous picnic areas. ROW Adventure Center offers specialized, guided adventures, and has been named as one of National Geographic’s “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth.” Triple Play Family Fun Park offers endless fun for the entire family, with a three-story rope-climbing course, a large, indoor waterpark, bumper boats, miniature golf, laser tag, go-karts, and bowling. The Museum of North Idaho traces the region’s history, in particular, the timber industry.
Downtown Coeur d’Alene is chock-full of interesting activities, shopping, boutiques, and amazing restaurants. You could also be lucky enough to wander into a street fair, farmer’s market, or even a street parade in downtown Coeur d’ Alene. Coeur d’Alene is also home to some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the Northwest. According to City Data, the 2018 crime rate in Coeur d’ Alene was 235, which is comparable to the U.S. average. Over the past five years, Coeur d’Alene has seen decreasing violent crimes as well as a decrease in property crimes.
As if your divorce weren’t stressful enough, your child custody case could bring additional anxiety and frustration. It is imperative that you have a strong legal advocate by your side when you begin your child custody case. Your experienced, highly-skilled Coeur d'Alene child custody lawyer will make sure your rights are protected while fighting for you and your child.
At Idaho Divorce Law Firm, we can protect your parenting rights through the child custody process.
We serve primarily in the following cities:
We also serve families throughout Coeur d'Alene, and surrounding cities in Idaho such as:
With our free initial consultation, you can now explore all your legal options as you discuss your case with us. Call our Meridian office today at 208-900 6440 or Boise number at 208-900-6313 for a consultation.