What You Need To Know About Child Custody and Visitation

WHAT IS AN ORDER OF CUSTODY?

An order of custody gives responsibility for the child’s care, control, and maintenance to one or both of the child’s parents or to another party.  The court may not decide issues of custody and visitation if the child is 18 years or older.

WHO MAY FILE A PETITION FOR AN ORDER OF CUSTODY?

A person who has an interest in a child’s well-being and has some connection or relationship with the child may file a petition in the Family Court requesting that the court place the child in his or her custody. The petition should be filed in the county in which the child resides, so long as the child as been residing in the state for the past six (6) months. A copy of the petition and a summons must be delivered personally to (served on) the person or parties who have custody of the child. If the child’s parents are separated and one parent seeks a custody order, that parent must have the papers served on the other parent. If a non-parent is seeking custody of the child, then both the child’s parents must be served.

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