What are the Different Types of Custody Papers?

N. Madison
N. Madison

There are many types of custody papers a person may use as part of a custody proceeding. For example, there are custody petition forms, which a person may use when he wants to seek custody of a child. There are also custody change forms, which a person may use when he wants to change an already established custody arrangement. An individual may also have need of contempt forms, which he may file in the event that the other party in a custody order fails to abide by the terms of the court order. Likewise, a person may use custody enforcement papers to ask the court to intervene and enforce an order.

Grandparents may petition for child custody.
Grandparents may petition for child custody.

When a person wants to seek custody of a child, he typically has to file custody papers in his jurisdiction. In many places, these papers are called custody complaints or petitions and are used to introduce a new custody case to a court system. These custody papers usually include information such as the names of both parents and the names and birth dates of the children who are involved. They may also include information about the parents' relationship to each other, such as whether or not they are married. Often, custody papers include information about the type of custody the petitioner is seeking, such as physical, legal, joint, sole, primary, or partial custody as well.

Custody modification forms are used to request a change in a custody arrangement.
Custody modification forms are used to request a change in a custody arrangement.

In some cases, a person may need custody change papers. These custody papers, often referred to as custody modification forms, are used to request a change in the current custody agreement or order. For example, if a person has joint custody and decides he wants to pursue primary or sole custody, he may file custody modification papers. In some places, these custody papers are also used to request changes in visitation. In others, a person may need an entirely different set of papers to request visitation time modifications.

Initial custody arrangements may be worked out with the help of a mediator and then approved by the judge.
Initial custody arrangements may be worked out with the help of a mediator and then approved by the judge.

There are also custody papers that are used when something goes wrong. For example, if one parent refuses to let the other parent exercise his custody, the wronged parent may file contempt or custody enforcement papers with the court. These documents are used to make the court aware of the situation and request the court's help in enforcing the order.

A father may be granted sole custody of his child if the mother is deemed to be mentally unstable.
A father may be granted sole custody of his child if the mother is deemed to be mentally unstable.

Filing custody papers essentially gets the ball rolling on a custody case. In most cases, the parties involved still have to show up in court, or sometimes in mediation, at a later date in order to have their custody issues solved. In some cases, however, parties to a custody case are able to come to an agreement on their own and file it with the court instead of asking a judge to make a decision.

Custody papers can include information about the type of custody being sought, such as joint, sole, primary or partial.
Custody papers can include information about the type of custody being sought, such as joint, sole, primary or partial.
N. Madison
N. Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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