What are some pros and cons of getting a custody order?
There are many reasons people choose not to get a custody order from a court. 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 court 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, it is possible that you may not have these legal rights, even if you’re the parent that takes care of the child every day. We recommend talking to a lawyer who can help you think through if filing for custody would be best for you, depending on the facts of your situation. You can find legal help by clicking on the Finding a Lawyer page.
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. A custody order will not automatically give you child support. See Can I get financial support for my children and myself? for more information.