Facts About Delaware Custody Laws
There are many things that you may not know about custody laws in Delaware. To avoid falling victim to misinformation or misleading facts, always consult a lawyer regarding custody of your child. Contact the Law Offices of Murray, Phillips & Gay to discuss the custody arrangement you have with your child.
- Each parent is a joint custodian of their children.
- Either parent or both parents may file a petition in Family Court asking the court to award them custody of the child.
- Under the Delaware law, the non-custodial parent is allowed to request information about the child.
- Both of the parents have the right to speak to the child by phone or mail.
- Each court order shall contain a contact (visitation) schedule with the non-custodial or non-residential parent.
- When a parent files a petition for custody in Family Court, a preliminary injunction is served immediately on the parent that filled out the petition.
- After a petition for custody is filed, the respondent in the petition must be personally served with a summons. The summons will include a copy of the petition.
- When positive service has been returned to the court, the case is normally referred to mediation.
- If there have been findings of any domestic violence, there will not be a mediation hearing. Additionally, there will not be a mediation hearing if a no-contact order is currently in effect. However, the exception will be cases when the victim’s attorney requests a mediation hearing and is present.
- If the mediation is bypassed, the petition will then be in the hands of the judge for a hearing.
What is a Custody Mediation Meeting?
At a mediation meeting, there will be a mediator assisting the parents to come to an agreement. They will also help with defining the issues which the parents cannot agree upon. The mediator will inform both parties of the language and content of the contact guidelines used by the court.
If the parents are able to come to an agreement with each other, they will sign a consent order. The consent order will outline the terms that they have agreed upon.
However, if the parents do not come to an agreement on the petition, the mediator will recommend a contact schedule until the court hearing. The parents must agree to a temporary contact schedule with the child to complete mediation.
In cases when mediation is unsuccessful, the petitioning parent will then have to complete a parenting education course. The petition will then be assigned to a judge for a full hearing at a later date.