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What are the Different Types of Custody Forms?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 20 October 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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There are many types of forms a person may use as part of a custody proceeding. Among the most commonly used custody forms are petitions or complaints for custody, custody modification forms, and custody enforcement forms. Sometimes individuals involved in custody cases also need contempt forms as well. Many jurisdictions offer forms that can be retrieved from a local court or even downloaded and printed for use.

One of the most commonly used custody forms is a custody complaint or petition. This form is used when a person wants to petition a court for custody of a minor. It typically includes information about the party who is requesting custody, the other parent or adult who will be involved in the case, the child of whom custody is sought, and other pertinent information the court requires. These types of forms may be used to initiate a case seeking sole, primary, or joint custody of a minor child.

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Sometimes a person may use a visitation form to seek visitation with a minor child. Often, visitation forms are included in the same category as custody forms, though visitation is a bit different. Essentially, a person with legal custody has the right to make legal decisions for the child in question; legal custody may be shared or granted to one individual. There are different categories of physical custody as well, but basically, a person with physical custody has the right to have the child reside with him, even if the child only resides with him for a limited amount of time. Visitation, on the other hand, means the party has a right to spend time with the child in question; it doesn’t always include spending time with the child alone or in one’s home.

Custody modification forms are used to request a change in a custody arrangement. For example, a parent may petition for more custody of his child or to change his parenting time. By the same token, a parent may petition to change the other parent's custody designation. This may happen, for instance, if a parent thinks the other party is a danger to his child and hopes to gain sole custody. Visitation modification forms are used in much the same way, though they modify visitation rather than custody.

Unfortunately, custody arrangements don’t always go smoothly, and some people refuse to honor them. There are also custody forms a person may complete and file to deal with such problems. For example, custody enforcement forms may be used if one parent withholds custody from the other. This form can be used to ask the court to step in and enforce the order. Likewise, affidavit of contempt forms may be used in such situations in order to make the court aware that a party has violated a custody or visitation order.

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