Establishing Primary Residence in Maine
When parents work out a child custody agreement, they will often specify a primary residence for the child. “Primary residence” is a term used to distinguish which home the child of non-married parents lives more of the time. Often, the parent with more allocated rights and responsibilities will be the home where the child has primary residents. However, that is not always the case. Establishing primary residence is only one aspect of parental rights and responsibilities. For example, one parent may be charged with primary residential care while the other parent is responsible for the child's medical and dental care, religious upbringing and education. A parent with whom the child has primary residence is not always necessarily have sole custody or is responsible for the majority of decisions regarding the child. Generally the non-primary care provider will be responsible for paying child support.
When faced with any type of child custody or primary residence issue, it is important to contact a Maine family law attorney. These issues can be complicated and our lawyers work to help you come to an amicable agreement that benefits all parties. For more information about establishing a primary residence for your child, call WTB Law.
Maine Primary Residence Laws
In cases where the parents cannot agree on who should have primary custody of a child, the court will rule based on the best interest of the child. Under Maine Law Title 19-A, section 1553, a court can allocate primary custody to one parent or not at all. In cases where the best interest of the child would be for them to have equal contact with both parents, the parents can share primary custody responsibilities. In other circumstances of allocated rights and responsibilities, one parent will be granted primary custody and the other visitation.
In order to determine who should be given primary custody, the court will look at many factors that could potentially affect the child's well being. The most important issue is the child's safety including their emotional and physical health. Parents who have been charged with domestic violence or a sex based crime will have to prove that there is no danger to the child if they are granted primary custody or visitation. Courts will also consider factors like the relationships between the child and each parent, how the parents interact with each other, where the child is currently residing, the stability of the child's home life with each parent and, in some cases, the child's own wishes.
Maine Child Custody Lawyer
In order to modify an existing primary custody ruling, a parent will have to show that the primary care parent has relocated or is planning to relocate or that they have been charged in a domestic violence case. If either of these factors are true, then the court will look at the case again.
If you need help with your child custody case and would like to find out more about establishing primary residence with your child, call WTB Law and speak with a Maine family law attorney now.