What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of getting a custody order?
There are many reasons people choose not to get a custody order from a judge. Some people decide not to get a custody order because they don’t want to get the courts involved. Some parents make an informal agreement that works well for them. Some parents may think going to court will provoke the other parent, or they are worried that the other parent might get custody or visitation.
However, getting a custody order from a judge can give you certain legal rights. Getting a custody order can give you:
- The right to make decisions about your child
- The right to residency (to have your child live with you)
Without a custody order, both parents have equal rights and responsibilities for the child or children.1
Some people think they should file for custody so they can get child support. While custody and child support are related, you do not necessarily need a custody order to get child support.
Also, a custody order will not automatically give you child support. See Can I get support for my children and myself? for more details. As with all custody issues, we recommend that you talk to a lawyer about this.
1 13 Del. Code § 701.