Child Custody

parent and child

parent and child, legal relationship, created by biological (birth) relationship or by adoption, that confers certain rights and duties on parent and child; in some states the courts have given the nonbiological, nonadoptive partner of a parent standing as a parent in a legal context. Parents are ordinarily obliged to support the child (to provide "necessaries" ), and they have the right to his or her custody and control. The father's right was long superior, but courts today, in custody disputes, favor either the father or the mother, whichever is deemed better suited to rear the child. In case of divorce, custody may be granted to either parent or divided between them. Although courts are reluctant to intervene in family matters, custody may be awarded to other persons or to an institution when neither parent is held fit to perform the duties of parenthood (see guardian and ward). The mother of an illegitimate child has the right to its custody; the father usually must contribute to support; legitimation occurs when the parents of an illegitimate child marry. Whoever has the lawful custody of a child has the right to control and punish him or her, so long as the means used are not excessive. In some cases when the income of a child is substantial, current earnings can be held in trust until the child reaches adulthood. Emancipation is the dissolution of the parent-child relationship. It may occur if the parents abandon the child, or at the parents' option (but usually not before the child is 18 years old), or when the child marries or attains majority. For the sociological and psychological aspects of the relationship, see family.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

The Custody Wars: Why Children Are Losing the Legal Battle and What We Can Do about It
Mary Ann Mason.
Basic Books, 2000
Mediator and Client Communicative Behaviors in Child-Custody Mediation
Werner, Barbara Lynn.
Women and Language, Vol. 17, No. 2, Fall 1994
The Hague Convention on International Child Abduction
Paul R. Beaumont; Peter E. McEleavy.
Oxford University, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "Rights of Custody"
Fathers' Rights: Hard-Hitting & Fair Advice for Every Father Involved in a Custody Dispute
Jeffery M. Leving; Kenneth A. Dachman.
Basic Books, 1997
From Partners to Parents: The Second Revolution in Family Law
June Carbone.
Columbia University Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 20 "Child Custody at Divorce: Ground Zero in the Gender Wars"
Divorce & New Beginnings: A Complete Guide to Recovery, Solo Parenting, Co-Parenting, and Stepfamilies
Genevieve Clapp.
John Wiley & Sons, 2000 (2nd edition)
Librarian’s tip: "Custody Battles: The Most Damaging of Postdivorce Conflicts" begins on p. 111
Parenting and Child Development in "Nontraditional" Families
Michael E. Lamb.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "The Effects of Divorce and Custody Arrangements on Children's Behavior, Development, and Adjustment"
Nontraditional Families: Parenting and Child Development
Michael E. Lamb.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1982
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 10 "Social Development and Parent-Child Interaction in Father-Custody and Stepmother Families"
Fatherhood and Family Policy
Michael E. Lamb; Abraham Sagi.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1983
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "The Father's Case in Child Custody Disputes: The Contributions of Psychological Research"
Fighting for Child Custody When Domestic Violence Is at Issue: Survey of State Laws
Levin, Amy; Mills, Linda G.
Social Work, Vol. 48, No. 4, October 2003
Custody Planning with Families Affected by HIV
Mason, Sally.
Health and Social Work, Vol. 32, No. 2, May 2007
Elements of Child Law in the Commonwealth Caribbean
Zanifa McDowell.
University of West Indies Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 10 "Custody of Children"
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