Can my divorce continue without the custody agreement being agreed upon? 22 Answers as of July 11, 2013

My husband has filed for divorce but wants joint custody of our daughter. I want sole custody. He is a drug addict and is currently on probation for violation relating to drugs. I don’t care about the divorce but I care about my child’s safety.

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Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law
Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law | Gregory T. Buckley
It is possible that the court would agree to bifurcate the divorce proceedings. That is, the divorce could be granted and the court would reserve jurisdiction of the issues related to the child.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 6/27/2011
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
Ultimately, the custody issue will have to be resolved, wither by an agreement or at the trial. In Connecticut, you won't be able to finalize the divorce without the custody piece being finalized as well.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 6/23/2011
Seattle Divorce Services
Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
Under Washington law the parenting relationships need to be settled in order to complete the divorce. If the two of you cannot agree, then you may need to proceed to trial on at least those issues.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/22/2011
Pontrello Law
Pontrello Law | William Pontrello
yes but judges are reluctant with a home investigation for the best interest of the children
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 6/22/2011
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
In Colorado, it is within a judge's discretion to grant a divorce and defer final decisions concerning the allocation of parental responsibilities. Colorado does not grant either "sole custody" or "joint custody". Instead, if parents can't agree on a parenting plan, the court will decide who has decision-making authority for different purposes, how time will be shared between the parents, where the child lives the majority of the time and whether any rules or limitations on time with the other parent are necessary. Overall, the best interest of the child will control every aspect of the Parenting Plan.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 6/21/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    The Court will adopt a parenting plan in the child's best interests. He does not have to agree to the plan, the Court can order one at trial.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    In a divorce, you can split the case in parts. You can get a divorce and then finalize the custody issues later.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    Yes. Your case can continue without an agreement as to custody. The lack of agreement as to custody just means that the case will have to go to trial and the court will decide what to do about custody/parenting plan.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    Sorry, but a parenting plan is necessary in Michigan, Ohio and most states for the divorce to proceed. Consult a domestic relations attorney for further information.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    The Coyle Law Office
    The Coyle Law Office | T. Andrew Coyle
    In your response to the divorce petition, you will need to address every allegation or statement made in the petition. In responding to the custody issue, you should state your preference there and you can give your reasoning as well. I would recommend having an attorney prepare the response, however, as there are certain specifics and factors that the court would give more weight to and you would want to highlight those.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    Yes, generally, your divorce can continue even though you and he cannot agree as to child custody. This will simply be an issue which the court will need to decide, if your attorneys cannnot get it resolved through various means prior to a hearing. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    Normally everything has to be decided by the end of the case.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC | Patrick Meriwether
    In Georgia, a divorce cannot be finalized without all issues being resolved, including custody. If you and your husband are unable to agree to a custody arrangement, you can schedule a hearing and the Judge will decide the custody issue. Many courts, however, require the parties to attend mediation before you can have a final hearing in a divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    The divorce can continue without agreement as to child custody. What you should do regarding child custody is to file an Order to Show Cause for temporary sole physical and legal custody, pending trial, and at trial, seek the sole physical and legal custody of your daughter. You would best retain an experienced Family Law Attorney to represent you in your divorce and child custody proceedings.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C.
    Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C. | Karen A. Clark
    You should make your concerns known to the court as soon as possible. It would be a good idea to see an attorney about getting a temporary custody order as soon as possible. That way any issues about your child's care and safety can be heard by the court *before* the final dissolution hearing.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    The appropriate parental responsibility and timesharing arrangement for your child will be one of the issues that is determined in the divorce. If you cannot agree, a judge will decide based on the evidence that is presented at the final hearing. So yes, the divorce can and will continue even if you don't have an agreement regarding the child. Therefore, as it sounds as if you have serious concerns regarding your child, I would strongly suggest hiring an attorney to assist you in the process, as once the judge makes the decision (right or wrong based on whatever evidence is properly presented), it can be extremely difficult to reverse or change that decision. My office offers free initial telephone consultations if you would like to discuss this matter in more detail, as well as explore the potential rights and options available.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Yes. If there is no agreement, the matter will proceed forward to a trial where a court will hear testimony, receive evidence and decide the issue based on the information received.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    If you cannot agree to a custody and parenting time schedule, then the case will continue to trial and the judge will make those decisions after considering the evidence presented. If you do not have a lawyer, you need to hire one; it is highly inadvisable to represent yourself in a divorce a custody case.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    I don't understand your question. The divorce and custody are intertwined.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/11/2013
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
    I can't tell you how many times I've wished that were the case for clients; but, unfortunately no, you cannot resolve the divorce without addressing all of the issues pertaining to custody/support/visitation. Is he seeking joint *legal* or joint *physical* custody? Because that makes a big difference. In any event, you should consult with an attorney in person before signing anything. Best of luck.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 6/21/2011
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